From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, President Koroma Pleased with NAS
By Aruna Turay
Jun 9, 2010, 17:08

His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma has expressed deep satisfaction with the Management and Staff of the National Aids Secretariat (NAS) for being selfless and proactive in galvanizing and coordinating the diverse efforts of partners whilst meeting their commitment to fight against HIV/AIDS in Sierra Leone.

The President made this accolade while addressing his audience on the occasion of the fourth National HIV/AIDS Council Meeting held on 4th June 2010 at State House in Freetown.

His Excellency the President, Chairman National AIDS Council, Hon. Vice President and Director NAS, at the High Table

According to President Koroma, the effort of NAS has contributed not only to scaling-up the country’s response to HIV-AIDS but also in mobilizing resources in a shrinking development assistance market. He went on that in June 2001, at a Special Session of the UN General Assembly on HIV/AIDS, Sierra Leone made a commitment to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and to mitigate its impact on the country’s population. He furthered that in June 2006, in Mozambique under the umbrella of the African Union in Maputo, Sierra Leone joined other countries to declare 2010 as the year of Universal Access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care, and support service for the African Continent. Objectives of these meetings, resolutions and commitments, the President went on, were meant to remind political leaders of their commitments on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care, and support service. To end, President Koroma assured the Secretariat of his Government’s continuing support to fight this epidemic in Sierra Leone.

Dr. Brima Kargbo, Director, National HIV and AIDS Secretariat, delivering the welcome address

On his part, the Director National HIV/AIDS Secretariat Dr. Brima Kargbo thanked President Koroma for his recognition towards the good work of his Secretariat in combating HIV/AIDS in Sierra Leone.

Dr. Kargbo said their priorities as a Secretariat are to ensure that people everywhere particularly the young, know what to do to avoid infection, to stop perhaps the most tragic of all forms of HIV transmission from mother to child, to provide treatment to all those infected and above all, to care for all whose lives have been devastated by AIDS, particularly the orphans. He said these commitments contain specific deadlines that should be reached by 2003, 2005, and 2010 respectively.

National AIDS Council members in attendance

The Director showered praises on numerous partners such as Global Fund, UN Agencies, Bilateral, and Multilateral partners for mobilizing significant resources to the fight. He informed the President that to date, the Secretariat, and its partners have mobilized about 86 million United States Dollars for the period of five years from the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS and Health System Strengthening.

Dr. Brima Kargbo also did a presentation on progress on UN’s Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, the status of the epidemic in Sierra Leone, national response, prevention, treatment, care and support, and overall challenges to national response.

Dr. Brima Kargbo, Director, presenting on the status of the epidemic in Sierra Leone

In his presentation on Global Fund Approval of the Round 9 Proposal on HIV/AIDS and Health System Strengthening, the Programme Manager National HIV/AIDS Secretariat Dr. Momodu Sesay said the Round 9 proposal aims to fill in implementation gaps in the National HIV/AIDS response to achieve universal access to prevention, treatment, and impact mitigation of HIV/AIDS and the Strengthening of the health system in Sierra Leone. He said the main strategy is on scaling up prevention and integrate treatment intervention into a strengthened health and community system.

The meeting also saw the presentation of key National AIDS Secretariat activities for 2010.

Dignitaries at the NAC meeting, L – R , Madam Mulunesh UCC, Head of Delegation EU, and WHO resident representative

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.