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Wednesday 21 December 2005
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CONGO: Media professionals create national HIV/AIDS awareness network

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

BRAZZAVILLE, 29 August (PLUSNEWS) - Media professionals in the Republic of Congo have created a national network to promote awareness-raising and education initiatives in an effort to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS countrywide, the group announced in the capital, Brazzaville.

"During a workshop organised in April 2003 for professional journalists and media authorities on the implementation of a national public opinion strategy to fight AIDS, we realised that, unlike other countries in the subregion, we had no organisation of this kind," Eugene Ngampaka, president of the newly-formed Reseau des communicateurs congolais contre le sida (Recosi), told PlusNews on Wednesday.

In a series of recommendations issued by Recosi, its members called on government authorities to better involve media professionals in efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. For their part, Recosi members pledged to work toward the consolidation of peace in the country and to hold themselves to the highest journalistic standards.

According to Congolese Health Minister Alain Moka, about 10 percent of the country's population of 3.1 million may be HIV-positive, with about 300 people newly infected each day. However, only about 100 people with HIV/AIDS had access to adequate treatment, Moka said, adding that despite the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the country, the level of medical treatment available was lagging far behind other nations.

Speaking at the launch of the Congo's National Council for the Fight Against AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases on 24 July, Moka 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.


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
Government launches national HIV/AIDS council,  25/Jul/03
Le portail d'informations générales de la Côte d’Ivoire
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
Mothers and HIV/AIDS

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