HIV/AIDS Prevention Activities Said Successful

The Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO) said the efforts made during the past five years to curb the speared of HIV/AIDS have yielded remarkable results.

In Search of "Made-to-Measure" HIV Prevention

With more than half of all Ethiopian adults tested for HIV in the past five years and a campaign for behaviour change in place, specialists are now calling for a more targeted approach.

565,000 People Receive VCT In SNNP

More than 565,000 people have received Voluntarily Counseling and blood Testing (VCT) in South Ethiopia Peoples State over the last six months, state’s health bureau said.

HIV/AIDS Prevalence Rate Decreasing In Ethiopia

The Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (FHAPCO) said that HIV/AIDS prevalence rate has been declining significantly in Ethiopia.

News

Arba Minch, September 17: The 2005 EFY four-day annual Joint Performance Review Meeting of the National Multi-sectoral Response against HIV/AIDS began yesterday in this capital city of Gamo Gofa Zone with visits of selected best practice sites in and around Arba Minch town.

The meeting is being attended by high-level dignitaries including    Dr. Kebede Worku, State Minister of the Ministry of Health, members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives, Ato Berhanu Feyisa, General Manager of FHAPCO, Ato Beta Tsemata representative of Gamo Gofa Zone Adinistration , heads of regional HB and HAPCOs.  Also on hand to take part at the meeting are: Mr. Linden Morrison, from Global Fund, Dr. Carmela Green- Abate, Country Coordinator of PEPFAR, and representatives of sector Ministries and governmental and non-governmental local and international organizations and partners.

 

The more than 250 participants of the review meeting were divided into groups to visit six selected best practice sites namely; Arba Minch Hospital, Arba Minch University, Molle village in West Abaya Woreda, Shella village mother-support group, and care and support services provided by Faith Based Organizations Sub-forum and a Dropping Center for CSW.

During a visit to Arba Minch Hospital, the   group led by Dr. Kebede Worku, was briefed by Dr. Asfaw Gemaneh, Medical Director of the Hospital on the services being provided by the Hospital. He told the group that currently there are 2265 PLHIV on ART and that during 2005 E.C. the Hospital has provided VCT services to about 2000 people out of which 62 were tested positive. The Hospital provides various services such as linkage of VCT/HCT and PMTCT with ART clinics, adherence support and ART uptake.

 

At Arba Minch University, Ato Firew Begashaw, AMU UNICEF/UNFPA Joint Program Coordinator briefed the visiting group, led by Ato Berhanu Feyisa, on HIV/AIDS intervention efforts within the university community encompassing about 18000 students and 4000 full time academic and administrative and support staff. He added that interventions focusing on the three pillars of multisectorol HIV/AIDS responses (behavioral, structural and bio-medical) are being impemented at the University.

He further pointed out that one PLHIV association has been established within the University and that there is one functional AIDS Resource Center. Besides, peer dialogue, life skill education, youth friendly services (adolescent and youth reproductive health issues) are being provided.

Another group which visited Faith-Based Organization Sub-Forum was told by Kesis Yakob Desta, chairperson of the forum that it was formed four years ago by the Muslim, the Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Evangelical Churches Fellowship and the Catholic Church religious institutions to create awareness among the community about the negative impact of HIV/AIDS, and to assist bed-ridden, disabled people, OVCs and the poor and helpless elders. He further said that currently the forum is providing 200 birr per month per person to 15 elders, 250 birr per month, per person  to 15 OVCs and 180 birr per month, per person  to 10 children living with HIV/AIDS. It is also assisting other affected and needy people to support themselves through income generation.

Members of the visiting group expressed their appreciation for the contributions the forum is making and for the exemplary initiative being taken by the different religious institution to work in harmony for the common well-being of fellow citizens.

Other group members observed awareness creation efforts on HIV prevention for CSW on Dropping Centers. The CSW are also provided confidential clinical services (STI/HIV etc). The beneficiaries are networked with other CSW to share knowledge they acquired at the Dropping Center.

The group which went to Molle Village, West Abaya Woreda observed community mobilization and community involvement in HIV prevention through community conversation. As this effort is implemented and owned by the community, it has a bright feature for sustainability, it was explained.

Another place visited by one group was Shella Village where empowerment of mother support group is practiced. The group of positive mothers are involved in enhancing up take of PMTCT services, promoting health facility based delivery, and follow up on uptake of prophylaxis. 

 

The formal deliberation of the meeting will begin today and continue for the next three days.

Addis Ababa-The HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (FHAPCO) said that adult HIV prevalence level has fallen from 2.1% in 2011 to 1.3% in 2013 owing to the sound strategic plans designed and implemented over the years, strong leadership commitment and program ownership.

Speaking at a press conference held on 24 August 2013 and attended by 34 journalists representing 16 print and electronic media houses, Ato Meskele Lera, Deputy Director General of FHAPCO  pointed out that in 2013 an estimated 734,048 people were living with HIV/AIDS, out of which  448,865 (61%) were females.

Speaking at the press conference were representatives of the Ministry of Health, Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI), Pharmaceutical Funds Supply Agency (PFSA), Food, Medicines and Health Care Administration and Control Authortiy (FMHACA), Addis Ababa HAPCO, Zewditu Memorial Hospital, and the National Network of Networks of HIV Positives in Ethiopia (NEP+.)

The press conference was organized by FHAPCO to brief journalists on the current HIV epidemic situation in the country, procurement process of HIV commodities ( antiretroviral drugs, condoms, HIV test kits), as well as procedures of quality assurance and policy issues on HIV prevention, treatment care and support and other related health matters.

Ato Meskele further said that out of the total people living with HIV in the country, 154,038 were children under the age of 14 years and that there are an estimated 34,542 HIV positive pregnant women in need of service for the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. There are an estimated 4.2 million orphans in the country, out of which 792,840 children were orphaned due to AIDS.

The Deputy Director General of FHAPO said that Ethiopia has generalized and heterogeneous HIV epidemic and the national adult prevalence rate varies significantly among population groups, and geographic areas. In this regard, he said that in order to design evidence based intervention programs which suit each geographic area and population groups, studies are being undertaken to identify the mode of HIV transmission (MOT) in the regional states of the country.

Quoting UNAIDS report of 2012, Ato Meskele noted that the rate of new HIV infections in Ethiopia has dropped from 0.29% (130,000 people) in 2001 to 0.03%  (23,000 people) in 2011. Number of people tested for HIV per year increased from less than half a million in 2004/05 to  11.2 million in 2011/12 he said, adding people currently on ART increased from 3,880 in 2005 to 296000 (73% of estimated eligible) in March 2013.

The Deputy Director General attributed the success to the collective efforts exerted by the Government, non-governmental local and international organizations, the private sector, the media and the community at large. Speaking of media based behavioral change communications,  he said that  1.2 million people and 60,000 youth were reached through Betegna and Dagu Youth Program, respectively. He added: 1.1 million people were given Hotline free counseling in 2011/12.

Gender inequality, poverty, and harmful socio-cultural norms such as widow inheritance, pre-marital and extra-marital sex were cited as major vulnerability factors that drive the epidemic. Major risk factors to HIV infection also include: multiple sexual partnership, early initiation of sex, low condom use and intergenerational and transactional sex. Mobility of people,   especially of young people to large scale development schemes such as mechanized farms, construction of dams and transportation routes and factories were becoming hotspots with the potential of creating massive epidemic and causing further spread to the general population, according to Ato Meskele.

 

Dr. Yibeltal Assefa, Deputy Director General of EHNRI told journalist that the main task of his organization was to undertake various studies to determine the trend of HIV/AIDS in the country and to establish whether the HIV/AIDS multi-sectoral responses are yielding results. He said EHNRI conducts antenatal care surveillance survey every two years to know the prevalence of the virus among pregnant women. Likewise, Demographic Health Survey is carried every five years and recently EHNRI has started studies to determine the spread of the virus among the most at risk population and identify risk factors that expose them to HIV.

He pointed out that the services for the provision of anti-retroviral drugs have been launched in 2005 and in collaboration with the Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office, EHNRI is currently undertaking a study to assess the success of the services and identify challenges. He said the number of anti-retroviral drug users is increasing with each passing day and like any other medicines, if it is not taken properly y and in keeping with doctors’ instructions, it can develop resistance. In this regard, he noted, EHNRI is conducting a study to assess and design mechanism to ensure efficient and quality service delivery system.

Dr. Firehiwet Nigatu, Coordinator of the HIV program of the Ministry of Health said that the MoH is designing new interventions one of which is an accelerated plan intended to fully prevent mother to child transmission of HIV by 2015.  All   HIV positive pregnant women are now eligible to take anti-retro-viral drugs irrespective of their CD4 blood count. All HIV positive people whose CD4 blood count is 350 and below are also entitled to anti-retroviral drugs, she added.

Dr. Firehiwet, said that the MoH is striving to create awareness among the most at risk population to encourage them to come to health centers for voluntary HIV counseling and testing. In this connection, she said that  there are about 3000 health institutions at national level that provide HIV/AIDS counseling and testing services and 2044 health centers  across the nation which give services for the  prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. There are 897 sites that provide anti-HIV/AIDS treatment services, she noted adding,  during the just ended 2005 EFY budget year  close to 11 (eleven) million people have received HIV/AIDS counseling and treatment services. The official of the MoH further noted that close to 300,000 patients have so far received drugs for HIV/AIDS and other related diseases.She informed journalists that the MoH is introducing new equipment and training professionals to identify and provide new medicines to those who have been on ART for a long time and who might have developed resistance.

Ato Tadesse Atilabachew, Head of the Addis Ababa HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office, pointed out that prevalence rate in Addis Ababa has decreased from 9.2% to 5.2 in 2011. He said 53,553 PLHIVs are currently on ART and that the number of VCT sites has increased from 47 in 2001 E.C. to 83 now. The Head of the AAHAPCO further pointed out that efforts were being made to prevent transmission of HIV to and fro the most at risk population and to encourage employers of governmental and non-governmental institution, major industries and factories in the city to include HIV programs in their core activities.

Ato Tadesse said that Addis Ababa, as the capital city of the country and headquarter of the ECA and many other UN specialized agencies and international organizations, entertains massive movements of people with the potential of causing the spread of the virus.

Ato Mengisteab Woldearegay, Deputy Director General of FMHACA, told journalists that his organization was legally mandated, among other things, to ensure safety, efficacy, quality and proper use of medicines including HIV/AIDS drugs and health commodities.

The Deputy Director General of FMHACA said that there are 850 woreda health regularity units in the 9 regional states and two city administrations of the country. He further pointed out that the regulatory activities are undertaken by the Authority and regional counter parts to ensure safety, efficacy, quality and proper use of HIV/AIDS medicines including anti-retroviral drugs, medicines for opportunistic infections, condoms, diagnostic kits and other health commodities.

Ato Yared Yigezu, Director of Forecasting and Capacity Building Directorate of PFSA said that medicines which are to be procured have to be from among the list of essential medicines identified by Ethiopia, they have to be prequalified by WHO and they have to meet the criteria set by the Global Fund Quality Assurance policy for pharmaceuticals and health products. Moreover, only those suppliers registered by local regulatory Authority are allowed to participate in the tender issued to procure anti-retroviral drugs.

Ato Yared further said that PFSA follows international competitive bidding process in procuring ARVs and related supplies. As part of quality control measure, pharmaceuticals are inspected upon arrival at port and the agency’s warehouses.

 

Dr. Aster Shoamare, Head of the Disease Prevention and Control Sub-Process Owner at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital, said that once on ART, patients are expected to strictly adhere to instructions given by health practitioners. These days patients do not die from HIV/AIDS provided that they take their medicines properly, she said adding, anti-retroviral drugs have enabled people living with HIV/AIDS to lead a normal life, to become productive citizens and bear and rear children like any other people if they take their medicines properly.

Dr. Aster pointed out that like any other medicines, anti-retroviral drugs can have short term and long term side effects especially if patients are negligent and fail to heed to doctors’ advices. This can lead to developing resistance and in this regard the support of families, friends and the community was highly required she said.

 

Ato Dereje Alemayehu, Executive Director of (NEP+) said that his organization has 900 permanent employees across the country and 4800 voluntary workers providing house to house care and support services particularly to those who are bed-ridden. Within the last two and three years we were able to reach 39000 patients he said, adding, NEP+ has provided initial capital to 14000 PLHIVs to help them engage in income generation activities.

Ato Dereje stated that NEP+ strives to ensure that PLHIVs are provided with essential information and care and support services. He pointed out that NEP+ works closely with Government and non-governmental organizations to guarantee better policies, treatment and medicines for PLHIV.

Responding to a question raised by a journalist regarding the definition of MARPs, the Deputy Director General of FHAPCO, Ato Meskele, pointed out that a standard study is being carried out by EHNRI, in collaboration with partners, to identify the most at risk segments of the population and the factors that expose them to HIV. He said that the study is being carried out by taking into account the cultural and religious values and within the legal framework of the country.

Answering a question dealing with international financial support, Ato Meskele pointed out that because of the international financial crises, support from donors is decreasing but it doesn’t mean the aid for the HIV/AID mult-sectoral response will stop altogether. The support is continuing and it will continue he said, adding, the national HIV/AIDS multi-sectoral response is not carried out only with foreign support. The Government, non-governmental organization, the private sector and the community at large are contributing significantly to the fight against HIV//AIDS.

 

We shall strive to pool local resources and enhance the support of the international community in order to keep the momentum of the fight against HIV/AIDS and avoid any relapse of the disease.

The Gambella Prevention Summit was held from 13 – 14, December 2012 in the regional capital city of Gambella town. The main objectives of the high-level meeting were to share knowledge on emerging evidences on effective HIV prevention strategies/interventions, to review current HIV prevention response in the region, and identify HIV prevention priorities and intensify responses and strengthen national and regional capacity to further intensify and ensure sustainability of responses. At the end of the 3-day deliberations, the Prevention Summit participants issued a 7-point consensus statement calling on all stake holders to contribute their share towards the implementation of the agreed points.

In a preamble to the consensus statement, the summit participants said, according to studies,   the prevalence of HIV/AIDS has gone down as a result of the efforts exerted over the years in our country to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS and mitigate its impact.  However, the participants noted, the epidemic is generalized across the country with variations among different social groups, males and females as well as geographic areas/locations.

 Therefore, in order to achieve the desired results, we need to stop and think to understand the situation of HIV in the region and thereby to provide appropriate response to the epidemic and strengthen our prevention efforts based on current information.  

In this regard, the Gambella Prevention Summit, which was convened to  suggest solutions aimed at containing  and ultimately stopping the spread of the virus has  identified and issued the following action points  and the way forward with  a clarion call on all  stakeholders to contribute their share to the implementation of the consensus statement.

Recognizing that  HIV/AIDS is social, economic, political and psychological   menace to our region and to our society at large, provide a committed and coordinated leadership to the multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS response by bringing together leaders and institutions at all levels, the community and partners and by making use of available civil society structures. Monitor and evaluate processes and results achieved, and undertake regular supportive supervisions.

Understand the local HIV/AIDS situation based on current information, identify the most at risk groups of the population, and know their estimated number and way of life/pattern of their settlement. Study factors which make them vulnerable and make use of the findings to identify prevention priorities.

Identify, along with the local communities, behavioral, cultural and social factors that make the youth, particularly young girls, vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, increase comprehensive knowledge of HIV of the local community, pass collective community decisions and ensure their implementation.

Ensure coordinated HIV/AIDS multi-sectoral response based on studies and researches and integrated combination prevention approaches which can bring about behavioral change, and address structural, cultural and local problems as well as ascertain the accessibility and equity of HIV/AIDS testing and treatment services. Strengthen further the participation of PLHIV in the prevention effort

Ensure the sustainability of the HIV/AIDS multi-sectoral response, and to this end, mobilize the community and make them major actors in the HIV/AIDS multi-sectoral response process, create a sense of ownership among the community, make full use of the Health Extension Program, and other institutional structures; pool together local resources by coordinating partners, and strengthen capacity to ensure judicious utilization of available resources.

Strengthen monitoring and evaluation system and scale-up best practices existing in the country to mitigate the negative impact of the epidemic.

 

Realize the success of the Growth and Transformation Plan designed by our country as well as the Millennium Development Goals by strengthening the on-going mulit-sectoral response and by resolving hurdles encountered at all levels.

Arba Minch, September 18: The national annual Joint Performance Review Meeting of the 2005 EFY Multi-sectoral Response against HIV/AIDS opened formally yesterday with collective commitment to lay the achievements made so far on a solid foundation.

The Joint  Review Meeting, which is being held under the theme, “ Consolidating the gains in HIV/AIDS Multi-sectoral response and Intensifying Targeted Prevention,  began on Tuesday with visits of selected best practice sites in and around Arba Minch town.

 

The meeting was formally opened by Dr. Kebede Worku, State Minister of the FMOH and addressed by Ato Berhanu Feyisa, Director General of FHAPCO, Ato Beta Tsemato, representative of Gamo Gofa Zone Administrator, Ato Mena Desta, Deputy Health Bureau Head  of SNNPRS, representative of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and Ato Dereje Alemayehu, Executive Director of NEP+. Speakers at the opening ceremony also included: Dr. Carmela Green Abate, PEPFAR Country Coordinator and representative of the UNAIDS.

 

All the speakers appreciated the significant results achieved to date in containing the spread of the virus and in mitigating its negative impact. They called on all parties to work with renewed commitment to maintain accomplishments made so far and work for more resounding successes.

 

The four-day meeting is being attended by high-level dignitaries including   Dr. Kebede Worku, Ato Berhanu Feyisa, officials from Gamo Gofa Zone,  members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives, representatives of sector Ministries, representative of the Gamo Gofa Zone Administration , heads of regional HBs and HAPCOs.  Also on hand to take part at the meeting are: Dr. Carmela Green Abate and representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations and partners.

 

In his opening speech, Dr. Kebede said that satisfactory results have been achieved in ensuring the accessibility of basic health services as a result of the collaborative efforts made over the years by the Government, the community at large and partners. The spread of the major communicable diseases and deaths from such diseases have decreased owing to the active participation of the population, Dr. Kebede said, adding Ethiopia has become one of the countries which are heading towards the realization of the MDGs in containing and ultimately reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases. He further emphasized the need to sustain the significant achievements scored in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

 

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ato Berehanu said that the main objective of the meeting was to review the annual performance of HIV/AIDS prevention and control programs, to identify weak and strong points, to share best practices between and among stakeholders, and to gain common understanding on successfully implementing, with the support of well-organized Development Army, activities outlined for 2006 EFY.

 

He said that encouraging results have been achieved due to the unreserved and coordinated efforts made to prevent and control the spread of the virus and that, according to official figures, new HIV infection level has decreased by 90% and AIDS related deaths have fallen significantly. Ato Berhanu attributed the successes to sound policy and strategies of the Government, committed leadership of the Government, the institutionalized participation of the community and the increase of accessibility and utilization of services at a great scale.

The Director General of FHAPCO also spoke in detail about the  activities undertaken during 2005 EFY in diverse areas such as community conversation, peer education and life skill trainings given at schools, VCTs and efforts made to address the most at risk and vulnerable groups.

Also speaking on the occasion, Dr. Carmela Green Abate said that Ethiopia is one of 25 countries in Africa that have shown a 50% decrease in new infections and a 50% decrease in the number of deaths due to AIDS since 2005. Now, more people are being put on treatment than new infections, she said adding, “with further efforts and perseverance, Ethiopia is clearly on a path towards an AIDS-free generation.”  She pointed out that the encouraging results reflect the combined efforts of high-level GOE political commitment and supportive donor commitment.

 

During its yesterday deliberations, the Joint Review Meeting listened to and discussed reflections of yesterday’s visit to best practice sits, presentations on 2005 EFY performance report and PMTCT option B+ and CD4-350 rollout and launching of pediatrics ART.

 

 

The Review Meeting will continue its deliberations tomorrow on other issues.

Various studies and reports say that Ethiopia has made a far-fetched progress in containing the spread of HIV/AIDS and mitigating its impact.  According to the HIV Related Estimates and Projections for Ethiopia-2012, the national adult HIV prevalence has gone down to 1.3% in 2013  from 2.1 in the previous years while the number of people living with HIV/AIDS has dropped to about 734,000 from a peak of 1.2 million in the preceding years.

The UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic 2012 revealed that the rate of new HIV infections in Ethiopia had drastically dropped to 90% in the last decade. Likewise, AIDS related deaths have gone down to 53%.

However, despite the tremendous achievements made at national level, the magnitude of the problem emanating from HIV/AIDS is somewhat more serious in some regions than others. For instance, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Gambela Regional State is more severe than any other region of the country.

According to the HIV Related Estimates and Projections for Ethiopia-2012, the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Gambella is 6.5% as compared to 0.9% in SNNPR, 1.0% in Oromia and 1.1% in Somali Regional States. The pervasiveness of HIV/AIDS in Gambela is even much greater than Addis Ababa Administration (5.2%) as well as Dire Dawa (4.0%) and Harari region (2.8%). The prevalence rate of Tigray, Afar, Amhara and Benishangul-Gumuz Regional States is 1.8%, 1.8%, 1.6% and 1.3%, respectively. Here the contrast is very clear; in terms of HIV/AIDS prevalence Gambela is the hardest hit region in the country.

It is to be recalled that in recognition of the severity of the problem, a three-day HIV prevention summit was conducted in Gambella  last December under the theme, “Scale-up Targeted Response to Local Epidemic.” The objective of the summit, organized by FHAPCO and Gambella Regional State in collaboration with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), was, among other things, to review current epidemic situation in the region and identify HIV prevention priorities and intensify responses.

Taking part at the summit were about 200 representatives of local, national and international organizations, community based organizations, regional sector bureaus, sector ministries, civil societies, universities, research institutions, UNAIDS, PEPFAR and other development partners.

During the three-day session, the conference listened to 11 presentations focusing, among others, on “ HIV/AIDS Situation and Response in Ethiopia”, “ Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision”, “Situational Analysis and Response to the Epidemic”, “ DHS 2011- an Overview of HIV/AIDS Situation in Gambella”.

The opening conference was addressed and attended by high-level officials including H.E. Ato Omod Obong, President of the Gambella National Regional State and World Peace Ambassador, other senior regional government officials, Ato Berhanu Feyisa, Director General of Federal HAPCO, Dr. Green Carmela, PEPFAR Country Coordinator, Dr. Warren Namara, UNAIDS Country Coordinator and Ato Dereje Alemayehu, Executive Director of the National Network of Networks of HIV Positives in Ethiopia (NEP+.)

  Opening the conference, H.E. Ato Omod Obong said   that the virus was spreading fast in hot spot towns and decreasing in remote rural areas of the region. He expressed the hope that the summit would introduce new strategy of interventions to contain the spread of the virus.  In this regard, he promised that his government would do everything in its power to tackle the challenges posed by HIV and AIDS.

 

Ato Berhanu Feyisa said that the summit was important in that it would help to strengthen prevention efforts in places highly affected by HIV/AIDS and to enhance local ownership. The mobility of people from one place to another in view of the region’s rich natural resources might be one contributing factor to the spread of the virus. He stressed the need to identify social, political and cultural factors that aggravate the spread of HIV in the region.

Ato Berhanu pledged that FHAPCO will do everything possible to support the regional government in its effort to alleviate the problem posed by HIV and AIDS.

Dr. Green Carmela spoke of the substantial reduction of HIV in Africa as well as in Ethiopia. She praised the effort of the regional government towards the reduction of HIV infections especially due to male circumcision. She said that further political commitment was required to deal with the virus.

Dr. Warren Namara expressed his believe that the Gambella Summit will facilitate consensus around key prevention priorities in the region.  He said, “Who should we reach and, most importantly, how can we reach them effectively are some of the issues to grapple with”. It is crucial that the Summit makes a difference in the scale, quality and speed of HIV prevention efforts in the region and above all sustainability, he added.

Ato Dereje Alemayehu pointed out that NEP+ has earmarked 4.9 million birr obtained from UNICEF and Global Fund to deploy 420 people living with HIV/AIDS in Gambella in different income generating activities. He said his organization has employed and trained 106 voluntary house-to-house care takers.

Earlier, Ato Ogettu Odng, regional HAPCO head said that HIV/AIDS was seriously affecting “the lives of our people.” We will require a lot of advice from the participants of the Summit”, he said adding the main task of controlling the virus by mobilizing, educating, and raising the awareness of the people rests with us.

Following the three-day deliberations, the participants noted that Gambella is among the most affected regions in the country and that women, particularly young girls were disproportionately affected by the epidemic.

They stressed the need to strengthen partnership and support to local response, enhance local ownership and leadership, intensify community mobilization and engagement, scale up HIV/AIDS health services and undertake further analysis and study to better understand the mode of transmission ( MOT) of the epidemic.

 

Finally the HIV/AIDS Prevention Summit ended by issuing a seven-point consensus statement. 

A five-day training on "HIV/AIDS Communication" organized by Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office for Public Relations and Communications Officers from Regional HAPCOs, Health Bureaus and key government sector institutions was held in Adama recently.

The major objective of the training was to upgrade the communication skills of PR officers in subjects related to HIV/AIDS and to sensitize them about the need to give more and more media coverage of activities undertaken by the government and all partners.

A three-day validation and finalization workshop on national Multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS response plan for 2005 EFY was conducted in Adama from June 27-29, 2012.

The objective of the workshop was to validate and consolidate annual draft plans prepared by regional HAPCOs, regional health bureaus, key sector offices, associations of people living with HIV/AIDS and civic society organizations. The draft plans were discussed and commented upon during a five-day meeting held in Adama last May.

A two-day Consultative meeting was held from June 21-22 to discuss a draft guideline developed to enhance the selection, documentation and dissemination of best practices in the HIV/AIDS Multi-sectoral response.

More than 50 people representing sector offices, associations of people living with HIV/AIDS, civic societies, bilateral and multilateral funding organizations and NGOs were on hand to discuss the draft document prepared by the Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office. The objectives of the guideline are to standardize the selection, documentation and dissemination of best practices for an enhanced HIV/AIDS response, and, to help design standardized mechanisms of monitoring the scale up of selected best practices.

Quick Facts

  • 33.3 million
  • 33.3 million[31.4-35.3] people were living with HIV worldwide in 2009
  • 1.8 million
  • In 2010 there were 1.8 million AIDS-Related deaths, lower than the 2.2 million in 2005

[Source: WHO/UNAIDS]