International Military HIV/AIDS Conference opens in Tanzania

Dar es Salaam- Tanzania (PANA) -- Government leaders must understand the challeng e posed by HIV/AIDS to every nation's security, and then act to overcome that ch a llenge, US Ambassador to Tanzania, Alfonso E.
Lenhardt, said Monday at the openi n g of the 2010 International Military HIV/AIDS Conference in Arusha, Tanzania.
Some 300 military leaders from around the world are holding the 2010 conference to highlight the role of leadership in implementing successful military HIV/AIDS programmes.
It is hosted by the Tanzania Peopleâ?s Defence Forces (TPDF).
â?Military health policy is a difficult debate, no matter where in the world yo u live,â? Lenhardt said, urging the conference participants to take time to â?e xchange best practices that can be implemented in future programming, so all our militaries and the countries they serve will achieve success combating this dise a se.
â? Lenhardt, a retired Major General from the US Army, said that many battles had b een won by whichever leader was best able to keep his soldiers healthy and fit t o fight, and underlined leadership as an essential element for the international m ilitary community to continue to advance efforts against HIV/AIDS.
â?A military force weakened by disease cannot fulfill its proper role.
Every g ood officer knows that his first duty is to promote the health and well-being of his troops, so that they are always fit to fight,â? he said, observing that in m any conflicts, more people died from disease than from the weapons of the enemy.
According to its organizers, the meeting represents the readiness of military le aders from many different nations to work together, learn from one another and t o gether fight and conquer a common enemy: HIV/AIDS.
Lenhardt said the TPDF and the American government had a strong partnership, inc luding in the field of the care and treatment of persons living with HIV/AIDS an d preventing its further spread.
This year the US has increased its contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Tanzania to US$ 357 million.
Lenhardt said Washington was planning for annual contributions of US$337 million from 2011 to 2013 for the same purpose though resources for HIV/AIDS are expect e d to grow more slowly.

12 april 2010 14:05:00

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