Today the local NGO, WE ACTx for Hope and its development partners have met local leaders and youths to assess, once again, their interventions in the fight to end HIV/AIDS in 2030.
The NGO with its partners discussed on the committee’s strength regarding service delivery model in the city of Kigali.
“I would like to commend the commitment of Rwanda to the response of HIV/AIDS. We are approaching the target focused to be achieved in 2020, as adopted by the international community, so as to end the epidemic in 2030, through improving access to testing and treatment. There is need to reduce stigma at the community level and engage, local leaders like social affairs, youth leaders towards controlling the AIDS epidemic so as to achieve the national target of ending the epidemic,” Dr. Betru Woldesemayat, UNAIDS country representative.
It is also good to note that this initiative focuses in Kigali City. This is a contribution to advance the Fast Track agenda in the cities where HIV prevalence if much higher. Dr Betru Said
The youths were urged to promote adherent response to preventing the acquisition of HIV and Kigali city, contributes to the reduction of HIV prevalence, which is the highest than among other towns, thus, realizing Fast track agendas is of a paramount importance.
“UNAIDS appreciates the youths’ interventions in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” the UNAIDS country representative lauded the youth’s support of the national and international set agendas to end the epidemic in the next 13 years.
Patricia Mukangarambe, Kigali City Director of public health, noted that the UNAIDS complements the national policies in fighting the epidemic and collaborates with the Rwanda Biomedical Center, social affairs and youth representatives in their different support interventions.
“Youths are the future of the country and therefore, they should engage in the agendas related to the fight against HIV/AIDS,” she said.
She requested them to impart to themselves, as much knowledge on the epidemic as possible, in order to help others in communities adhere to interventions.
WE ACTx for Hope chairperson, Felecite Rwemalika called on youth, as the future generation to continue with the interventions regarding the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“We need concerted efforts in the campaigns to end the epidemic. Communities should find out the persisting problems about the virus and then make appropriate solutions,” she said.
The Representative of RBC in his presentation mentioned that the latest evidence from Rwanda Demographic Health survey 2015 revealed that national HIV prevalence in Rwanda among the general population aged 15 to 49 years old has been stabilized at 3.0% since the last decade but is more among women at 3.6% than men at 2.2% and increasing in urban areas where it is estimated at 6.3% in the City of Kigali. The engagement of local leaders and youth is essential if we are to end AIDS highlighted Mr Innocent Kamali.
Adolescents and youths were urged to prevent new HIV infections acquisition promote adherence on ART and retention in care programs for those who are already infected. The focus in the City of Kigali will have an impact as the City has the highest prevalence of HIV 6.3% compared to national HIV prevalence that stands at 3% in general population. Such evidence-informed programs contribute to realizing the Fast Track Cities initiative http://www.iapac.org/cities/ , a reality in Rwanda and is of a paramount importance.
Concerning the progress towards the attainment of global Fats Track targets of 90% of people who know the HIV-positive status, 90% of them on ART and 90% with viral load suppressed by 2030, it was mentioned that Rwanda in on good track with 86% of people who know the HIV-positive status, 85% on treatment and 82% with viral load suppressed. The Country has made great progress towards the elimination of HIV transmission from mother to child (eMTCT) reduced at less than 2% since the last 3 years.
Participants were briefed about the Community Differentiated Service Delivery Model aiming at increasing adherence on ART and retention in care programs of HIV positive patients. “We Act for Hope plans to provider a refresher training of its youth peer educators and support them to conduct outreach community dialogues at grassroots levels to raise awareness on HIV prevention, promotion of adherence on ART with a focus to adolescents and youth” highlighted Madame Chantal Benekigeri in charge of clinical services at We – Act for hope http://www.we-actx.org/