Insufficient means to fight HIV/AIDS, says health minister
Wednesday 7 September 2005
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CONGO: Insufficient means to fight HIV/AIDS, says health minister

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

BRAZZAVILLE, 1 May (PLUSNEWS) - Only about 100 people with HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Congo (ROC) has access to adequate treatment, Health Minister Alain Moka told medical workers during a training seminar on Monday in the capital, Brazzaville.

He also said that despite the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the country, the level of medical treatment available was lagging far behind other nations. About 10 percent of the country's population of 3.1 million may be infected. He said despite efforts to contain the crisis, such as the provision of mobile treatment centres in the cities of Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire, as well as projects to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, patient care nationwide was woefully inadequate.

Addressing the seminar, Dr Elira Dokekias, echoing Moka's concerns, said the number of HIV/AIDS patients being treated in the country's hospitals had nearly equalled the number suffering from malaria, the leading cause of illness in the country.

The training session was organised by HIV/AIDS experts from France for some 40 Congolese doctors and pharmacists from Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. Its objective was to provide health practitioners with the latest information on care and antiretroviral (ARV) treatment of patients.

According to the National Programme to Combat AIDS (Programme national de lutte contre le sida), the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire is 7 percent and 17 percent respectively, with an 80 percent mortality rate. These cities are the largest in the country. HIV infects about 300 people each day nationwide.

In December 2002, the ROC government said it would make available 300 million francs CFA (US $530,673) for the purchase of ARV drugs. Monthly ARV treatment for an HIV/AIDS patient in the ROC costs about 350,000 francs ($619) - roughly equal to the national average annual income.


Recent CONGO Reports
Government agrees to allocate more money to fight HIV/AIDS,  1/Aug/05
HIV-positive couple marry, making history,  5/Jul/05
Government regulates ARV supply,  6/Apr/05
UN to provide ARVs for 1,000 HIV-positive people,  20/Oct/03
Media professionals create national HIV/AIDS awareness network,  29/Aug/03
AIDS Media Center
Le portail d'informations générales de la Côte d’Ivoire
VIH Internet
Sida Info Services

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