EAC armies discuss Aids mainstreaming

KAMPALA - Chiefs of medical services of armed forces of the East African Community (EAC) partner states are meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, to draw a roadmap on the harmonization and mainstreaming of HIV/Aids in the region.The one-week meeting follows two workshops on HIV/Aids prevention and mainstreaming in the peace and security sectors that took place in Rwanda and Tanzania.

KAMPALA - Chiefs of medical services of armed forces of the East African Community (EAC) partner states are meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, to draw a roadmap on the harmonization and mainstreaming of HIV/Aids in the region.

The one-week meeting follows two workshops on HIV/Aids prevention and mainstreaming in the peace and security sectors that took place in Rwanda and Tanzania.

Rwanda’s Defence Liaison Officer at the EAC, Brig. Gen. Norbert Kalimba, said the meeting comes at a time when the HIV incidence is going down, thanks to efforts by policymakers in the region.

“The situation used to be alarming especially in post-conflict situations, but today, there have been tremendous efforts in fighting the scourge among all armed forces in the region,” he told The New Times yesterday.

Rwanda’s HIV/Aids prevalence rate stands at about 3 percent, according to the demographic health survey conducted nationwide in 2005.

The meeting is expected to develop a roadmap with specific timeline and deliverables to mainstream HIV/Aids and other health threats.

Burundi’s Defence Liaison, Brig. Gen. Salvator Nahimana, commended the efforts aimed at mainstreaming the fight against HIV/Aids in different activities carried out in the region like sports.

“Harmonisation of policies and protocols will go a long way in even helping out HIV /Aids patients on treatment. This means that with free movement of persons, a patient from Burundi can go to Kenya and still get their level of treatment there,” he observed.

Participants at the meeting will participate in an open session on HIV/Aids awareness to be conducted at one of the brigades of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces.  

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