Wife of the President Aisha Buhari has reaffirmed her support for the need to strengthen collaboration on advocacy for prevention and control of the spread of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. Mrs Buhari made the commitment on Tuesday during a high-level meeting of the 2018 China-Africa Conference on HIV/AIDS of the Organisation of African First Ladies, hosted by the wife of Chinese President, Mrs Peng Liyuan.The meeting was conveyed by the China`s first lady at the sidelines of the Forum of China – Africa Corporation (FOCAC) Summit in Beijing.
The event was aimed at fostering cooperation with the spouses of African Heads of States to fight the scourge. She said that HIV remained a major health challenge facing communities in the sub-Saharan African, adding that the victims were mostly adults of productive age. Mrs Buhari said regrettably, the larger number of young population had the higher risk of infection, hence the need to sensitise them. She, therefore, called for action on treatment as well as prevention and control of the diseases.
The wife of the president said the HIV prevalence among adolescents in Nigeria ranged within the age of 15 to 19 years, amounting to 2.9 per cent. According to her, China and Africa share common stand on the rising cases of HIV infections and other sexual and reproductive health challenges among young people. Mrs Buhari, however, urged the participants to be resilient to establish appropriate institutions between China and Africa, to scale up adolescent-friendly information dissemination and services.
She, therefore, expressed hope that the event would provide avenues for renewed commitment and actions against the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration, Dr Hajo Sani, said that the main target of the conference was focusing on young population, particularly the young girls on how their lives could be empowered. She said the aim was to sensitise them to the need to understand the implication of the infectious diseases.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that HIV/AIDS was a major killer disease bedeviling countries in Africa with estimated 3.4 million people living with the diseases. Swaziland has a highest number of 5.6 million people living with HIV/AIDS, followed by Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa. It was on this premise that the spouses of China and African leaders converged on Beijing to discuss the way forward (NAN).
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