KIGALI - The East African Community (EAC) has announced plans to harmonise existing policies, protocols, plans, strategies, and legislation in partner states in regard to prevention, treatment and AIDS care.
Jean Claude Nsengiyumva, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, announced this while briefing the media on the forthcoming World AIDS Day slated for December 1.
“The focus is on the prevention of HIV and AIDS, care and the mitigation of its impact in order to ensure sustainable human development within partner states,” Nsengiyumva said in a statement.
The communiqué says the overall goal is to attain an HIV/AIDS-free population.
Underlining that the AIDS challenge is cross-cutting in character and requires concerted efforts by stakeholders, Nsengiyumva stressed the EAC Treaty lays strong emphasis on joint regional strategies and interventions for the prevention and control of HIV and AIDS among member states.
EAC plays a coordination role of activities within the partner states in support of the existing national policies on HIV/AIDS.
Partner states are currently undertaking joint action towards the prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, including HIV and AIDS.
Nsengiyumva noted that governments cannot undertake this initiative of fighting the pandemic without the support of the private sector.
In this regard, he said, EAC is partnering with the private sector through the East African Business Council (EABC)\ to stem the HIV spread.
On November 11, the EABC organized voluntary HIV testing and counselling for regional CEOs in an effort to stimulate corporate response to HIV pandemic.
The one-day event was simultaneously carried out in each of the five capital cities across the bloc.