The Minister of Health, Diane Gashumba, has said that although the world has done much in the prevention and treatment of HIV more needs to be done
She was presiding over a ceremony of the weeklong International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) in Kigali on Sunday.
The conference attracted more than 10,000 people from across the globe.
“We have celebrated the achievements made in the 90-90-90 targets across the continent; more (people) are aware of their status, more are on treatment, and more have achieved Viral Load Suppression. However, we cannot rest until more progress has been made,” she said.
Under what is known as 90-90-90 target, by 2020 UNAIDS aims to have 90 per cent of people with HIV knowing they are HIV-positive, 90 per cent of diagnosed people on treatment, and 90 per cent of those on treatment able to use the medication to suppress the amount of virus in their bodies to a low level.
Gashumba further explained to the delegates that the next step is to put in action the things they have learnt in the conference, like integrating sexual and reproductive health in HIV services as a key area of focus.
John Idoko, the president of ICASA, called upon nations to fulfil the Abuja Declaration of 2001, where African countries pledged to allocate at least 15 per cent of their annual budget to improve the health sector.
“We had some various sessions, that unless we increase our investment for, we will not achieve the targets that we set for ourselves, whether in 2020 or in 2030. And therefore, as we all go back to our various countries, we mustn’t forget the Abuja commitment of 15 per cent,” he said.
He also told the audience that their hard work was not in vain. He outlined some of the researches that have been presented, from prevention techniques to treatment techniques.
“We didn’t disappoint ourselves. In the last several days, the conversations and discussions we have witnessed, have produced very powerful messages”.
The conference attracted delegates from over 152 countries. It was organised under the theme “AIDS FREE AFRICA- Innovation, Community, and Political Leadership.”Follow glory_iribagiza