Tanzanian Vice President Philip Mpango has urged African leaders to demonstrate their leadership by renewing their commitment to ending AIDS in children in the continent by 2030.
Opening the ministerial launch of the Global Alliance to End AIDS in Children by 2030 in Africa at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Center in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, Mpango said “we must not remain complacent as 2030 is at our doorstep.”
He thanked the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other international partners for initiating this new alliance that aims to address one of the most evident gaps in the fight against AIDS.
Twelve African countries have joined the alliance in the first phase. They are Angola, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Representatives from the 12 African countries committed themselves and laid out their plans to end AIDS in children by 2030 as international partners set out how they would support countries in delivering on those plans, which were issued at the first ministerial meeting of the Global Alliance to end AIDS in children in Montreal in Canada in Aug. 2022.
“This meeting has given me hope. An inequality that breaks my heart is that against children living with HIV, and leaders today have set out their commitment to the determined action needed to put it right,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of UNAIDS.
“We cannot let children continue to be left behind in the global response to HIV and AIDS. Governments and partners can count on UNICEF to be there every step of the way,” said UNICEF Associate Director Anurita Bains.
The Global Alliance to End AIDS in Children by 2030 in Africa is aimed at advocating and mobilizing political commitment and resources to ensure action and accountability around shared targets and commitments.
According to the UNAIDS fact sheet, currently around the world, a child dies from AIDS-related causes every five minutes. The fact sheet also says 160,000 children were infected with HIV in 2021.