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The Executive Director of the joint United Nations programme against AIDS (UNAIDS), Michel Sidibe, says the organisation aims to eliminate the transmission of HIV/AIDS from mother to child in Africa by 2015.
At a meeting with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Sidibe noted that Kenya could make a major contribution to this effort by sharing with other African countries its success in bringing down the transmission of HIV/AIDS in the country to manageable levels.
Odinga said Kenya, through various agencies, would provide leadership on the continent in fighting the HIV/AIDS scourge and added that the Cabinet committee on HIV/AIDS which he chairs will provide the guidelines and modalities. He said for instance there was a need to put in place sustainable programmes which would go beyond dependency on anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment from outside Africa, adding people living with HIV/AIDs also required health insurance and good nutrition.
He suggested that UNAIDS and other international organisations would particularly be helpful in setting up a trust fund which would sustain anti HIV/AIDS activities. "It is not prudent to depend on donor funds which can dry up, leaving us in peril," he added. Sidibe hailed Kenya on its progress in taming the pandemic noting that the country had made considerable advances in reducing the rate of new transmissions.
Emphasising that more needed to be done in fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa, Sidibe said it was unfortunate that nine million people on the continent were on ARV treatment while two million were dying every year from the disease.
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