Sensitization to HIV AIDS must be stepped up, President says.

On 27 June 2017, the National Council for the fight against HIV/AIDS organized an ordinary general assembly. The President of the Republic thanked the council and said there is still a long way to go. He called for much sensitization to HIV.

President Pierre Nkurunziza: “Sensitization to HIV/AIDS must be stepped up”.

President Pierre Nkurunziza: “Sensitization to HIV/AIDS must be stepped up”.

In his opening speech, the President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza said many things have changed since the establishment of the National Council for the fight against HIV/AIDS. He said people have been sensitized on how to fight against HIV. “However, there is still a long way to go”, said Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza, adding that the screening centers and number of people who get screened have increased.

The National Council for the fight against AIDS (CNLS)presented the major achievements in HIV/AIDS. Dr. Désiré Nduwimana, who spoke on behalf of CNLS, says Burundi is currently one of the seven countries that have reduced new HIV infections among children to more than 70% since 2009.He also said the council has given school support to AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children.

Although the Council has made some achievements, it also encountered many challenges. In some offices of AIDS associations, medical devices are not functional. The delay in disbursement from some sponsors is also one of the challenges. Moreover, the council experienced a lack of sufficient equipment and financial resources to carry out its tasks.

The National council for the fight against AIDS (CNLS) also presented the outline of the National strategic plan which will last for five years starting from 2018.

CNLS plans to reduce the morbidity and mortality rate related to HIV /AIDS. It also plans to alleviate HIV/AIDS socio-economic impact on the development of the country and consequently on population’s health conditions in 2022.

The council intends to intensify the preventions of new sexual and blood infections among adolescents and young people and among key populations. Although there is an improvement, the council intends to strengthen the prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child, early pediatric management and the support for living mothers.

The Presidential decree on the reorganization, functioning and composition of the National AIDS Council was renewed on the 2 August 2016.