May 20, 2009, 8:29 AM
Stakeholders drawn mainly from the health and other relevant sectors recently gathered for a daylong a high-level experts dissemination workshop on HIV care and treatment at NaNA conference hall in Bakau.
The meeting was organised by Hands on Care in collaboration with the National AIDs Control Programme of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
The workshop, which brought partners from West and Central Africa, discussed the successes of countries in attaining the 15 x 15 on care and treatment, identified gaps and made recommendations on achieving the 15 x15 on care and treatment of people.
Speaking at the workshop, Nuha Ceesay of the UNAIDs country office said the rationale behind the workshop was to share with stakeholders global initiatives to ensure people living with HIV and AIDs have access to high quality HIV and AIDs treatment, care and support.
He said that about 7 million people are living with HIV and AIDS whilst less than 50 per cent of these people have access to HIV and AIDS treatment.
The programme, he said further, was carried out to share with stakeholders the situational analysis that was conducted to identify the situation of HIV and AIDS treatment in The Gambia.
For her part, Dr Adama Demba, who represented the regional health director of West Coast Region, said the HIV and AIDS crisis is a huge global problem whose fight requires concerted efforts.
“The AIDS virus is perhaps one of the most talked about and feared tiny organism of our times and has become a major public health problem,” she said.
According to her, the UNAIDS’ latest report shows that since the beginning of the Aids pandemic, millions of people worldwide have been infected with HIV.
She also revealed that by end of 2012 more than thirty-three million people were infected and close to 3 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses.
Mrs Demba also concluded that the one-day dissemination meeting was a continuation of the Ministry of Health’s efforts to have all hands on deck with regard to universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and support.