UNAIDs Executive Director, Michael Sibide on Friday commended Malawi for its bold stand in fighting against the spread of HIV and AIDs which contributed to a 75 percent reduction of new HIV infections.
Sibide made the remarks in Lilongwe at the official opening of the first UNAIDS / LANCET Commission Summit which has been organized to among other things, find lasting solutions that would help achieve a zero HIV and AIDs infection society.
He said, “Malawi has within the last few years managed to stop transmission of mother to child infection which if continued would further bring down the number of infections to zero. Not only that, we have learnt that Malawi has within the very few years also managed to put half a million of its people on ARV treatment.
“This is commendable and as UNAIDs we are proud of the many programmes that this country is doing in ensuring that we have a society which is free from HIV and AIDs.”
Sibide added, “Many countries in Africa and beyond are emulating from the good policies and projects that the Malawi Government is implementing which directly benefits people living with the virus.”
The UNAIDS’ boss therefore called on President Banda and all leaders to take an active role and institute programmes and policies that would promote HIV awareness to protect and stop the spread of HIV and AIDs.
Sibide then assured of his organization’s support to Malawi so to ensure that the pandemic is dealt with once and for all.
On the summit, Sibide said it was the hope of UNAIDs that at the end of the meeting, leaders shall agree and find new ways that would help to end the spread of HIV and AIDs.
He also said it was the expectation of many people that the summit would discuss on how researches could be enhanced while also, find medicines that could cure AIDS.
“This is a very important meeting as it will set the vision for the future. It will discuss about equality, social justice accountability and how we can shape a new future free of AIDS,” Sibide explained while commending President Banda for accepting to host the summit in the country.
Jeanette Kagame, First Lady of Rwanda also commissioner of the UNAIDs/ Lancet appealed for commitment by leaders in the fight against the epidemic.
Kagame said dealing with HIV and AIDs was not a difficult task only if leaders were commitment.
“In Rwanda we achieved to reduce the epidemic by 50 percent because we leaders decided to take an active role. That aside, we also allowed involvement of the communities at all levels.
“It is my hope that the same could happen in other countries and Africa at large,” Kagame explained.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :