China Contributing to Africa’s Efforts in Fight HIV/AIDS: AU Official

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ENA, December 14/2019  China has been making direct and indirect contribution to Africa’s efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria on the continent, an official of the African Union (AU) said.

Benjamin Djoudalbaye, AU Acting Head of HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, told Xinhua that China’s contribution to the Global Fund, which is to fight against the major deadly diseases, is one of the indirect support areas in the fight against HIV/AIDS on the African continent.

The World Health Organizations (WHO) says HIV continues to be a major global public health issue. In 2018, some 770, 000 people died from HIV-related causes globally.

There were approximately 37.9 million people living with HIV at the end of 2018, with 1.7 million people becoming newly infected in 2018 globally.

Africa is the most affected region, with about 25.7 million people living with HIV in 2018; and the continent accounts for almost two thirds of the global total of new HIV infections, according to WHO.

Reiterating that Africa is one of the most affected regions by HIV/AIDS in the world, the Acting Head said the continent has achieved remarkable results in the past two years, despite the success stories are with disparities.

“For the last couple of years, I think we are on the (trajectory) in controlling HIV today on the continent, ” the official said, adding people have access to treatments and efforts were made to reduce maternal mortality and mother to child transmission of HIV.

“The new infections are going down in parts of the continent but despite all these efforts the disparities exist,” he said.

In addition to the indirect contribution through the Global Fund, China forged a partnership with AU, whereby it provides supports, including training for experts who have indispensable role in the fight against the HIV/AIDS.

“For us, as the African Union, we have a very good collaboration with China. And recently two of my two members went to China and were trained on HIV control. So, these type of action programs do exist between China and the African Union Commission,” he said.

Reiterating that Africa has achieved remarkable results in the anti-HIV/AIDS interventions, the acting head mentioned Botswana and Rwanda as two success stories on the continent.

“I can tell you two success stories; a country like Botswana has virtually eliminated mother to child transmission of HIV; that is a success story; and the second success story is that a country like Rwanda will control HIV, as a program of Public Health, before 2030,” Djoudalbaye noted.