KIGALI - The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office in charge of Gender and Family Promotion, Valerie Nyirahabineza has called upon HIV/Aids activists in the country to link beneficiaries and care-givers to HIV/Aids patients at grassroots level.
She was briefing the press yesterday at Telecom House, Kacyiru on the progress of preparations to host the third annual national pediatric conference on children infected and affected by HIV/Aids.
“The conference will aim to find out how service providers can work closely with children and their parents to help ascertain who is infected and affected and establish measures for treatment,” Nyirahabineza said.
The fight against HIV/Aids in Rwanda currently encompasses programmes to help orphans and other vulnerable children with access to education and healthcare.
The conference due on Sunday, December 2 in Kigali will attract over 300 policymakers, international researchers, children, health workers, development partners and NGOs.
Antoine Ssemukanya, the deputy Executive Secretary of the National Aids Control Commission (CNLS) said at the press briefing. “We have committees at the lowest local government level charged with fighting HIV/Aids related problems. Local leaders were tasked to ensure better coordination of service delivery to patients,” he said.
According to estimates by the Treatment and Research Aids Centre (TRAC), Rwanda currently has 27,000 children infected with HIV/Aids.
Dr. Anita Asiimwe said her organisation was able to test children only after they were 18 months old “but today Government and development partners have bolstered our capacity more; we are now able to test children as young as six weeks.”