Updated HIV/AIDS Strategy for WHO African Region unveiled

Luanda, Angola (PANA) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa has unveiled an updated Regional HIV/AIDS Strategy that provides directions for implementing the WHO Global Health Sector Strategy (GHSS), adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2011, taking into account key regional specificities.  

The Strategy was unveiled at the ongoing 62nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa in Luanda, Angola, by the WHO Regional Director, Dr Luis Sambo.

Dr. Sambo, who presented the Strategy to the meeting, shares the vision of the GHSS, 2011-2015, which is ‘Zero new HIV infections, zero HIV-related deaths and zero discrimination in a world where people living with HIV/AIDS are able to live long, healthy lives.

It defines the health sector’s response to HIV/AIDS, with a stronger focus on the needs of women, girls and other key populations.

The Strategy proposes eight HIV/AIDS priority interventions and five specific actions to strengthen the capacity of health systems to deliver HIV/AIDS and services.

Among the priority interventions is combination prevention which uses a set of mutually-reinforcing interventions (behavioural, biomedical and structural HIV prevention) to address the risks of HIV transmission and acquisition as thoroughly and strategically as possible.

Other interventions include improved and greater access to varied testing and counseling services, as well as to HIV treatment and care for children, adolescents and adults; reduction of co-infections and deaths among people living with HIV, and strengthening of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV collaborative activities

The rest are the provision of comprehensive care and support for people living with HIV, with community participation and the provision of comprehensive range of HIV/AIDS interventions to meet the needs of key population under-served by current HIV/AIDS programs.

The five actions outlined in the strategy include strengthening the leadership and stewardship role of government and strengthening human resources for health, particularly ensuring the availability of competent personnel in the right numbers and mix. Others are laboratory capacity strengthening and the reinforcement of the procurement and supply management systems; the inclusion of gender and human rights issues in the design, delivery and management of health services, and the strengthening of strategic information systems.

According to WHO, HIV/AIDS remains a long-term development challenge in the African Region, which bears 69% of the global burden and has accounted for 67% of the world’s AIDS related deaths.

The WHO Regional Committee for Africa's 62nd session is due to round off Friday.
-0- PANA SEG 21Nov2012

21 november 2012 13:33:08




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