Ministry seeks joint efforts towards HIV elimination

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– Commemorates 2023 World AIDS Day

 ADDIS ABABA – The Ministry of Health (MoH) has called for stakeholders’ joint efforts towards HIV elimination by 2030.

This was disclosed here yesterday while commemorating the 2023 World AIDS Day under the theme “Let Communities Lead” in the presence of global institutions representatives, Ambassadors, bureau heads among others were in attendance.

Speaking at the occasion, MoH Minister LiaTadesse (MD) said that Ethiopia has been exerting its significant efforts towards reducing mortality rate of the virus thereby registering a significant progress in this regard.

She further remarked that strong political commitment and combined involvements of diverse partners play a leading role to ensure our plan of eliminating HIV by 2023 and health and wellbeing of the entire community.

The minister said: “The challenge of addressing the maternal child transmission of HIV and restoration of services that are disrupted by displacement are among the ministries priority that requires much emphasis.”

As to Lia, MoH managed to minimize the death toll rate of the virus by 52% .

“Lack of sufficient response mechanisms of leader’s at all levels; awareness and manmade and natural disasters are the main impacting factors to halt the spread of the virus.”

Therefore, the minister emphasized that it is critical to further strengthen innovative activities hand in hand with religious leaders, media, civil society and other stakeholders to achieve a common goal.

UNAIDS Ethiopia Country Director and Representative Ethiopia Country Office Francoise Ndayishimiye (MD) said that empowering communities and exerting collective efforts of communities is crucial in ending the AIDS epidemic and bringing an AIDS free world.

Moreover, she said Ethiopia has strong community structures that can be considered to scale up the community led monitoring.

Francoise said: “This World AIDS Day is more than a celebration of the achievements of communities HIV response, advancing progress toward the end of AIDS. Besides, it is a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership roles.”

It was indicated that in 2022, about 39 million people globally were living with HIV; 1.3 million people became newly infected with HIV, 630,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses.

“Currently, Ethiopia has been leading the HIV/AIDS response and showing its commitment despite the different challenges the country is facing thereby managing to diminish to 0.91%.”

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative, KoffiKouame for his part said that they have been empowering the communities to design, implement and monitor tailored interventions to combat HIV/AIDS effectively.

“It is highly important leveraging the wisdom and expertise of community leaders and grassroots initiatives to bring about inclusive strategies that embrace the entire community. Also, Ethiopia deserves commendation for its outstanding efforts in combating HIV/AIDS spearheaded by the Ethiopian Government in collaboration with various partners,” he remarked.

BY ASHENAFI ANIMUT

THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD SATURDAY 2 DECEMBER 2023

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