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Kigali hosts twentieth ICASA summit

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Mozambique’s President Filipe Jacint Nyusi arrived in Kigali to attend the week-long International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA). 

The conference begins today, 2 December 2019 and is organised under the theme, “AIDS Free Africa Innovation, Community, and Political Leadership”. World leading scientists, policymakers, activists, people living with HIV, government leaders – as well as civil society representatives – will be joining the debate on how to achieve an Aids-Free Africa. The conference will host about 10 000 delegates from 150 countries around the world.

Organisers said ICASA 2019 seeks to serve as an opportunity for all stakeholders, particularly governments, to compare notes, learn from best practices and renew their commitment to scaling up and accelerating HIV/AIDS response.

Estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that out of the 34 million HIV-positive people worldwide, 69 percent live in sub-Saharan Africa.

There are roughly 23.8 million infected persons in all of Africa. Ninety-one percent of the world’s HIV-positive children live in Africa, where more than one million adults and children die every year from HIV/AIDS in Africa alone, according to the same source.

The twentieth ICASA summit in Kigali is being attended by several First Ladies, including Neo Masisi of Botswana and her Chadian counterpart, Hinda Deby Itno. Other First Ladies in attendance are Antoinette Sassou N’guesso of Congo Brazzaville, Rebecca Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Jeannette Kagame of Rwanda.

The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Winny Byanyima, the Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Donald Kaberuka, and the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) are among other dignitaries in attendance. 

– APA 

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