Regional workshop on AIDS opens in Abidjan

Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- Participants from 20 countries in central and western Africa are Monday attending a regional workshop on mother to child HIV/AIDS transmission in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital.
The workshop, organised by UNAIDS, has targeted national focal points in the countries of western and central Africa.
The aim is to set up and strengthen programmes to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission from mother to child, said the organisers, who added that the gathering would also allow for an exchange of experience between the managers of the different programmes set up in the region for the prevention of mother-child transmission.
The chairperson of the workshop, Simone Gbagbo, urged for mass screening of women in order to detect and help HIV-positive mothers better.
"I suggest that you see how HIV/AIDS mass screening methods and techniques can be implemented for all women of child-bearing age," the Ivorian first lady said.
Assana Sangare Ouattara, minister of state in the Prime Minister's office who is in charge of the fight against AIDS, noted that Cote d'Ivoire was the hardest hit country in the sub-region.
"HIV/AIDS rate among the population (15 million inhabitants) is 10 percent and the rate among pregnant women varies from 8 to 14 percent, depending on whether you are in rural or urban areas," she said.
She underlined that one of the missions of her ministry is to prevent HIV/AIDS mother-to-child transmission, noting that the experience of Cote d'Ivoire in this field is "immense.
" The workshop ends Friday.

23 july 2001 20:26:00




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