China to work with African countries on 3-year AIDS prevention program

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/4 23:18:42

China will work with African countries and international organizations to implement a three-year health promotion and HIV/AIDS prevention advocacy program for adolescents starting 2019, First Lady Peng Liyuan announced on Tuesday.

Peng made the announcement in a keynote speech at a China-Africa meeting on HIV/AIDS prevention and control on the margins of the ongoing Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) on Tuesday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Peng, together with 37 spouses of African heads of state and government, launched an initiative at the meeting for joint efforts by China and Africa to combat HIV/AIDS, according to Xinhua.

Making concerted efforts against HIV/AIDS has become a global consensus and cooperation between China and Africa in this regard has been effective, said Peng.

Peng, who also reviewed her work as the World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

China has been actively supporting African countries in combating HIV/AIDS, sending medical teams to more than 40 African countries and providing them with free medicine, medical equipment and supplies, according to the report.

China and Africa cooperation is based on a shared vision for social development, recognizing that good health will also lead to mutual economic gains, and will produce win-win results for both sides, UNAIDS said in a statement sent to the Global Times.

UNAIDS Country Director Amakobe Sande applauded China's contributions to African countries in improving their public health, saying that China has provided "a wealth of urgently needed support."

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention will hold a training session on AIDS prevention and treatment from October 10 to 18. Seventeen public health management officials and medical workers from 11 African and Southeast Asian countries will participate in the event, the center's WeChat public account said on Tuesday.

Global new HIV infections have declined 18 percent in the past 7 years from 2.2 million in 2010 to 1.8 million in 2017.

Although this is nearly half the number of new infections compared to the 3.4 million peak of 1996, the decline is not quick enough to achieve a target of fewer than 500,000 by 2020, according to a UNAIDS report in June.

"There has been enormous progress in recent years in Africa," Sande pointed out to the Global Times.

Sande highlighted that the reduction in new HIV infections was strongest in the regions most affected by HIV: eastern and southern Africa.

The role China can play in health cooperation would continue to significantly contribute to the fight against AIDS in Africa, Sande said, by availing its financial, technical and innovative capabilities to contribute to access to medicines and commodity security as well as strengthening health systems.


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