No Accurate Figure Of HIV/AIDS Carriers In Africa

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Ebrahim Samba, has said that there was no accurate figure of HIV/AIDS carriers in Africa, as different organisations have been giving conflicting figures in different parts of the continent.
Speaking Sunday at a press conference in Lagos, ahead of the African AIDS Summit in Abuja this week, Samba said, however, that such figures were not as important as finding a lasting solution to the dreaded disease.
Available figures show that 70 to 80 percent of the 36 million people infected with the disease worldwide are in Africa.
Samba also slammed the various cure claims around the continent, saying ''there is no known cure of HIV/AIDS in the world''.
He said in the absence of any known cure, people should practise abstinence from sex, be faithful to their partners and use condom to prevent the disease.
The WHO official disclosed that his organisation was working hard to provide vaccine for the disease, but did not say when it would be made available to the public.
But he said even when a vaccine becomes available, it was necessary for people to be willing to use it.
"One thing is to provide vaccine and the other is for people to utilise it," he said.
Samba said Africa had been hardest hit by AIDS because of the high level of poverty on the continent.
He said the virus that causes AIDS can more quickly weaken the immune system due to malnourishment.
Several African heads of state, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former US President Bill Clinton are among those expected at the summit, scheduled for 24-27 April.
The conference, being organised by the Organisation of African Unity, is expected to bring high level attention to the AIDS scourge ravaging Africa.

22 april 2001 20:05:00




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