KAMPALA - The next HIV/Aids Implementers’ meeting will be held in the Ugandan Capital Kampala from June 3 – 7 following the one held in Kigali last year.
The international conference attracts HIV/Aids activists, policy-makers and executors from around the world, particularly 15 core countries in which the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an initiative of US President George W. Bush.
The 2008 meeting will be held under the theme: “Scaling up through Partnership: Overcoming Obstacles to Implementation.” The meeting will build up on recommendations from the 2007 Implementer’s meeting held in Kigali last June.
During the forum, a total of 1,700 delegates will exchange best practices and lessons learned during the implementation of HIV/Aids programmes, with a focus on building the capacity of local prevention, treatment, and care programmes; maintaining quality control; coordination, among partners.
“The task for implementers now is to find ways for all actors to work in partnership to address new hurdles as they arise, while also strengthening accountability and sustainability of HIV/Aids programmes. These include using new evidence and data to better understand barriers and support interventions,” the US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission in Kampala, Andrew Chritton, said at a press briefing at the Uganda Media Centre.
“The Implementers’ Meeting is a unique opportunity for practitioners from around the world to come together, discuss challenges, and share ideas to further strengthen the global response to HIV/Aids,” he said.
The diplomat added: “This discussion of the “how to” and “how not to” is particularly important as the world community moves from an emergency response to a long-term, sustainable response. The meeting is about how we can save as many lives as quickly as possible.”
The Director of Uganda AIDS Commission, Dr Kihumuro Apuuli, said: “HIV/Aids deaths were still high though prevalence rates had gone down.
“We still have new infections. During that meeting we shall be sharing experiences, discussing challenges and finding new ways of addressing HIV/Aids using new evidence from the implementers,” he stated.
Rwanda is among thirteen PEPFAR African focus countries that benefit from PEPFAR programmes. The US Congress recently agreed to double the funding of PEPFAR to $30b, and to extend the programme, which originally had five-year duration.