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African countries commit to end AIDS in children by 2030

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Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

THE Global Alliance to end AIDS in children by 2030 has been officially launched in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania this Wednesday, amid calls for the 12-member alliances to scale up efforts to fight the pandemic.

The 12 countries making up the Global Alliance to end AIDS in children by 2030, including Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Zambia have adopted the Dar es Salaam Declaration, a roadmap towards ending the pandemic in children in the next seven years.

Guest of honour at the launch, Tanzania’s Vice President, Dr Philip Mpango challenged the alliance members to work hard to achieve the set goals of ending AIDS in children by 2030.

“Looking at the four pillars of action, we are optimistic that we will reach the target and end AIDS by 2030. Looking at our figures, treatment has stalled and the gap is widening, thus we need to work hard and ensure we close the gap. The government of Tanzania is committed to ending the pandemic by 2030 we must not remain complacent as 2030 is at our doorstep,” he said.

Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga in his capacity as the health minister together with other health ministers as well as civil society organisations and partners, adopted the declaration, reaffirming their countries’ commitments towards ending AIDS in children by 2030.

“As Zimbabwe, we are strongly committed to attaining the ambitious targets that we have set for ourselves as a country. This should not just be a talk show but should galvanise momentum and action as each and every one of us plays our part to end AIDS in children by 2030,” said Dr Chiwenga.

Margaret Muhanga, the Minister for Primary Health Care in Uganda said; “Uganda has been working tirelessly to end AIDS in children but despite this, we have not achieved our goal. The global alliance is timely necessary and our focus will be on scaling up efforts in the fight against HIV.”

Mrs Monica Geingos, the First Lady of Namibia said; “We know what has to be done, it is the political will and the political action which is required to end AIDS in Children in our countries. I want to end by reaffirming the organisation of African first ladies’ commitment. We will use our platforms to further advance the cause, there is no higher priority than this.”

Premised on four pillars which include early testing and optimised comprehensive high-quality treatment and care for children, closing the treatment gap for pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV, preventing and detecting new HIV infections as well as addressing rights, gender equality and the social and structural barriers that hinder access to services, the alliance is confident of achieving set targets of ending AIDS in children.