Strong leadership lightens AIDS, TB, Malaria burden - AU

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - As a result of strong continental and national leadership, Africa has achieved significant gains in reducing the burden of AIDS, TB and Malaria as well as the social impact of the three diseases, the African Union (AU) Commission said in a report issued here Sunday.

The number of people newly infected with HIV, according to the report, has been cut down by 25 percent since 2001, the number of children acquiring HIV infection has declined by 24 percent between 2009 and 2011 and the number of deaths from AIDS-related causes was 32 percent lower in 2011 than in 2005.

Since 2001, nearly 13 million persons received TB treatment while the burden of malaria went down by a third.

At least eight countries have already achieved the malaria incidence's targeted reduction of 75 percent.

In July 2012, the AU adopted a road map that has laid a path to bolster African leadership, boost local pharmaceutical industry and demonstrate how the continent leads a wave of sustainable change in the global AIDS, TB and malaria responses.

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe has hailed Africa’s leadership in fighting the three major killer diseases, saying it (leadership) “was the elusive magic bullet that has irrevocably changed the cause of AIDS and now can do even more.”

“As we look to our future goals, I am confident that African leadership can be the pathfinder to better global health,” he said.

Meanwhile, the UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and leading medical journal ‘The Lancet’ Sunday launched here a new commission of political, health, human rights and private sector leaders to explore a post-2015 agenda on AIDS and global health.

Malawi President Joyce Banda, AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Director Peter Piot are co-chairing the commission.
-0- PANA AR/SEG 26May2013

26 Maio 2013 14:35:55

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