Armed forces from the five member states of the East African Community (EAC) are set to hold a three-day meeting, beginning today in Kigali.
The conference aims at mainstreaming HIV/AIDS prevention, control, treatment, and care with an aim of reducing the prevalence of this disease among the armed forces of the partner states.
According to officials, the workshop follows a directive by the EAC Council of Ministers that HIV/AIDS prevention be mainstreamed into regional Peace and Security sectors through the EAC Defense Liaison Officers.
The workshop is also in fulfillment of the EAC Regional Integrated Multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan of 2008-2012.
“The mounting of firm and practical HIV/AIDS interventions is critical to stability, security and regional prosperity,” Col. Michael Gayo Luwongo, the Chair of the Defense Liaison Offices at the EAC Secretariat said.
“There is dire need to develop a coherent and sustainable EAC Regional Armed Forces HIV/AIDS prevention strategy.”
The workshop’s specific objectives include, reviewing the current and emerging HIV-AIDS challenges facing EAC Armed Forces.
The workshop will also bring together EAC Partner States Chiefs of Armed Forces Medical Services, Ministry of Health National HIV/AIDS Program officers, Heads of National AIDS Commissions/Councils, experts in Public Health HIV/AIDS prevention strategy, EAC Defense Liaison Officers and senior officials from the EAC Secretariat.