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US Embassy Organise Leadership Workshop for Security Officers

Apr 28, 2009, 8:03 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

As part of their contribution to the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other related diseases, the Embassy of the UnitedState of America in Banjul yesterday, Monday 27th April, organised a three day leadership workshop on HIV/AIDS for the security officers across the country.

The workshop was held at the Corinth Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the US Ambassador in Banjul, His Excellency Barry Wells, pointed out that leadership begins at the top.

Ambassador Barry Wells said that it was a great honour for the United States to be able to continue their partnership with the GAF in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  "Many militaries see the spread of this virus as a public health issue that doesn't impact the defence structures, ' it is this view that will continue to allow this virus to eat away at military forces around the world, leaving borders unprotected and inhibiting force readiness and mobilisation."

He said the action and leadership of those in positions of power can drastically impact the behaviour modification needed for the military to defend itself against this deadly disease. Ambassador Barry Wells therefore expressed his pleasure for the presence of Commandant Pape Mousse Ndiaye, from the Senegalese Armed forces who attended the three day workshop.  Deputising for the Chief of defence staff, Major General Lang. Tombong Tamba, Lt Col Yankuba Drammeh said that over the 20 years since HIV/AIDS was first identified by health workers and advocates many have sought to confront the disease as it moved from a scientific mystery to a global pandemic. "Despite their efforts the disease has produced a pattern of death and destruction in the world," he said.

According him, US national intelligence estimated in January 2000 that more than 36 million individuals are affected, 22 million have died and the disease has orphaned 13 million children.