Vice-President leads Burundi's team to UN AIDS Session

Bujumbura (PANA) -- Second Vice-President Mathias Sinamenye, is leading Burundi's delegation to the UN General Assembly's Special Session on AIDS, which opens in New York Monday.
Official sources said Sinamenye, who left Bujumbura Saturday would use the opportunity of the meeting to highlight the plight of thousands of AIDS patients in the country, with poor health facilities.
"This is a global effort to mobilise governments, the civil society and various stakeholders in the sector, so that we may gradually curb this scourge, and eventually defeat it," he told journalists before his departure.
"Faced with the tragic reality of AIDS in many poor nations, the Summit is also an opportunity to bring decision makers world-wide to co-ordinate efforts to mobilise and control the disease," he added.
As regards Burundi, Sinamenye recalled that AIDS control was among priorities mentioned at the Burundi international donors' conference held in December 2000 in Paris, France.
"By way of a reminder, we will ask them (donors) what the situation is and tell them that it is urgent for Burundi to receive sufficient financial resources against the looming annihilation from the pandemic, which has very serious social and economic consequences," he added.
Available statistics indicate that 360,000 people, or five percent of Burundi's seven million population are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Some 230,000 children have also been orphaned by the disease, first reported in Burundi in 1983.
The World Bank has promised to provide 50 million US dollars to help the country tackle AIDS-related problems.

24 june 2001 18:45:00

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