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Prime Minister to chair committee on HIV/AIDS
Sunday 5 September 2004
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GUINEA-BISSAU: Prime Minister to chair committee on HIV/AIDS

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

BISSAU, 5 November (PLUSNEWS) - Interim Prime Minister Artur Sanha is to chair a new committee on HIV/AIDS as part of the new government's attempts to control the spread of the disease in Guinea-Bissau.

Approved by the Council of Ministers last week, the new committee includes Health Minister Mariama Ba Biague and several leading AIDS experts.

Health workers said reliable statistics on the prevalence of AIDS are difficult to obtain in Guinea-Bissau, but estimates in 2002 by the UN Joint AIDS programme (UNAIDS) put the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS at about 13,000 in a population of 1.3 million people.

The UN Children's agency, UNICEF, estimated there were at least 1,500 children under 14 years of age, with HIV/AIDS in 2001.

Campaigns against the disease in Guinea-Bissau have included radio programmes, plays and television broadcasts. Experts have warned in the past that their activities had been handicapped by declining health sevices and poor data collection.

There is also major concern about the lack of antiretroviral drugs although Guinea-Bissau currently has a three-year national plan against the disease running from 2002-2005.

Sanha was sworn into office in late September after a military junta seized power on 14 September, to work with President Henrique Rosa in an interim administration until fresh presidential elections can be held within one year.

The junta, which toppled Kumba Yala, signed an agreement along with 22 other political and civil society groups, setting up a 56-member National Transition Council to serve in place of a parliament until legislative elections are held after six months. General Verissimo Seabra Correia, the armed forces chief of staff who led the coup is chairman of the transition council.


Recent GUINEA-BISSAU Reports
Government launches first big push against AIDS,  27/Jul/04
Country's first AIDS treatment centre opens in renovated hospital,  19/Dec/03
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.


PlusNews is produced under the banner of RHAIN, the Southern African Regional HIV/AIDS Information Network. RHAIN's members currently include:

  • IRIN
  • Inter Press Service (IPS)
  • Health Systems Trust
  • Health & Development Networks
  • GTZ/Afronets

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