Aisha Buhari Advocates for Adolescent Health Information to Track AIDS
Wife of the President, Dr. Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has called for the scale up of adolescent health information, stating that it is necessary for successful AIDS control and prevention. She made the call at the China/Africa AIDS Prevention and Control Conference, which was organized by the First Lady of the Peoples’ Republic of China, Professor Peng Liyuan on the Sidelines of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, China on 4th September, 2018.
Mrs. Buhari gave the example of Nigeria, which has studied the adolescent and young people’s challenges and developed a National HIV strategy that targets this population with context specific interventions. She lamented the high number of HIV patients in Nigeria and other African countries.
“It is undisputable fact that HIV continues to be a major global Public health issue” she said, “and it is painful to note that adolescent and young people are among the high risk and vulnerable groups” describing them as representing the future productive group of any society. She charged stakeholders to take extraordinary measures to mitigate the contextual drivers of this epidemic among this special group if the dream of ending AIDS by 2030 is to be achieved.
Mrs. Buhari commended the idea of a joint action plan between relevant stake holders in China and Africa in the process of combating the menace of HIV/AIDS.
In her remarks, First Lady of the People’s Republic of China, Professor Peng Liyuan, said the conference is another step forward in China – Africa relations, which creates historic opportunities for health cooperation, and called on African countries to work with China in the fight against AIDS, deepen cooperation and continue to contribute to the health and well-being of their peoples.
Professor Liyuan promised that starting from 2019, China will work with African countries and relevant international organizations on a 3 – year program for adolescent preventive and community health programs to raise awareness and help countries move towards the Sustainable Development Goal of ending HIV/AIDS by 2030.
She commended African countries for their massive and effective campaigns which have seen a rise in the number of patients receiving Anti-Retroviral treatment, lower death rates, and declining number of children with HIV/AIDS.
“Many of you made tremendous effort to make this happen. I have nothing but admiration and respect for all of you.” She said to the first ladies.
The event was attended by first Ladies from 36 countries and the Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Michel Sidibe.