Every year since 2005, Rwanda has organised a conference on Pediatric Treatment, Care and Support of Children infected and affected by HIV.
Annual National Conferences were set up as an advocacy process for the inclusion of children in the national response to HIV in Rwanda.
Recently the same conference was held in Kigali at the prime holdings, this 3rd Annual National Pediatric Conference on Children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS was organised by CNLS through the Children and AIDS Steering committee MIGEPROF, TRAC+, UNFPA, CHAMP, PACFA, and Clinton Foundation. Among the participates were also the children’s voice.
To date, Rwanda has organised two conferences preceded by an assessment of the achievements and the results of recommendations from the previous year.
The conference always ensures meaningful participation of children and youth and patronage at the highest level of the State.
They provide a forum for discussion and consensus on the current situation of children in relation to HIV/AIDS at national and international level; they are led by CNLS, planned, organised and followed-up with national institutions, development partners, local and international researchers and practitioners.
The theme of this year’s conference according to Emerita Uwanyiringira the director of children’s voice Rwanda is: “A focus on decentralization in prevention, protection, care, treatment and support for children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.”
According to Emerita Uwanyiringira she revealed to The New Times that “we are aiming at empowering children, after this conference children will be able to mention their problems in public which most children fear but after this training, children will also be able to talk on behalf of their children. We have trained them a short course of journalism of which is vital to these children”
Uwera Anita one of the children who participated in this conference says what she has gained a lot from this conference. “I have gained a lot from this conference. We now have rights to talk on behalf of our fellow children and we shall also be airing out our views.” she revealed.