KIGALI - This year’s National Pediatric Conference on Children Infected and affected by HIV that is scheduled to take place this week will focus on strategies of achieving Millennium Development Goal six, according to the National Aids Control Commission (CNLS).
The MDG 6 aims at fighting HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and other epidemics through halting and reversing their prevalence by the year 2015.
The three-day conference to be held under the theme, ‘Count down to 2015 Targets for Children and HIV – Achieving MDG number 6,’ will bring together over 350 policymakers, researchers, children, health workers, and different NGOs.
According to the Executive Secretary of CNLS Dr. Anita Asiimwe, the conference will bring together people from different backgrounds to recognize that the responsibility to reverse the spread of HIV belongs to all.
“The meeting aims at understanding and reviewing the existing national coordination mechanisms of implementing MDG 6 and to also explore mechanisms of strengthening areas that are still lacking,” Asiimwe said yesterday during a press briefing.
The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Dr Jeanne d’ Arc Mujawamariya said that government has put much emphasis on ensuring that children’s lives are protected from getting infected by their mothers at birth, and also taking care of the infected children.
She also revealed that out of the 438 health facilities in the country, 362 have the capacity to cater for HIV/AIDS patients, adding that the government was targeting to have equipped all the health facilities by the year 2012.
Statistics from CNLS show that over 17, 000 children from the age of 0 – 21 years live with HIV/AIDS in Rwanda today.
This year’s conference, the fifth of its kind, will bring together high level representatives from the government, UN agencies, representatives of health facilities, together with those infected and affected by HIV as well as those providing direct services at the grass roots levels.