Vice President Shares Seychelles’ Experience at AU HIV/AIDS Summit
Vice President Danny Faure has represented President James Michel at the Special Summit of the African Union on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria held on 15-16th July 2013 in Abuja, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In his intervention, VP Faure recalled the progress made in Seychelles regarding the three diseases and informed the Summit that in the case of malaria, all cases over the reported period were imported cases and were timely diagnosed and treated.
He also highlighted the fact that all mothers and children are reached with PMTCT services which has kept mother to child transmission of HIV under control. While TB cases continue to be diagnosed, the figures remain small but important nonetheless.
The Vice President, who was accompanied by the Minister for Health, Mrs. Mitcy Larue, further noted that the Seychelles Government has remained highly committed and responsive to improving the national response to HIV and AIDS and that this rate of success has been achieved through a strong leadership and the allocation of resources supporting interventions at the various levels.
Vice President Faure however cautioned that while all the efforts are being made to address the three scourges affecting the continent, the Summit should not lose sight of the emergence or re - emergence of a mix of communicable and non-communicable diseases that are becoming more and more important for middle and upper middle-income countries of Africa.
The challenge of tackling other blood born infections like hepatitis C among Injecting Drug Users (IDUs), and Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) linked to lifestyle, remain areas that all AU member states should be mindful of.
In this respect the Vice President called for a reflection of those emerging new trends noting that we need to be looking beyond the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) target of 2015. The Vice President made special note of the specificity of SIDS and the impact that these new challenges can bring to such vulnerable states.
“This can be a serious threat to national and socio economic development where the human capital base is relatively small,” remarked the Vice president.
The declaration at the end of the Summit was one that affirmed the need to uphold and reinvigorate the commitments to achieve the health related Millennium Development Goals.
The African leaders further agreed to step up the mobilization of domestic resources to strengthen the health system while ensuring that appropriate strategies are in place to provide for sustainable financing for health, including South South co-operation.
The establishment of an African Centre for Disease Control (African CDC) was one of the recommendations of the declaration which was given unanimous endorsement; as it was felt that such a Center would go a long way to reduce Africa's over-dependence of services outside the continent and improve the timeliness of interventions.
The Vice President welcomed the commitments made and joined the call for the replenishment of the Global fund.
The Vice President was also accompanied Dr Jude Gedeon, the Public Health Commissioner and Mr. Joseph Nourrice, Seychelles Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and the UNECA.
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