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19th international conference on aids and stis

Dominique Ouattara advocates for local production of pediatric ARVs
Dominique Ouattara advocates for local production of pediatric ARVs
Dominique Ouattara advocates for local production of pediatric ARVs

The 19th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) is being held from 4th to 9th December 2017 in Abidjan. The opening ceremony of this global event on HIV / AIDS pandemic and sexually transmitted infections in Africa took place this Monday, December 4, 2017, at the Palais des Congrès Sofitel Hôtel Ivoire, under the theme: "Africa, a different approach towards the end of AIDS", the conference witnessed the participation of President Alassane Ouattara, President of the ceremony, Ms. Cecilia Dapaah, Minister of Aviation of Ghana representing President Nana Akufro-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, First Lady Dominique Ouattara, patron of the event and several other personalities including Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan and the First Ladies of Congo, Niger, Benin , Gambia, the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and Belize.

During 4 days, delegates and experts from around the world will reflect on new approaches and strategies to eliminate this pandemic.

Speaking after the opening ceremony chaired by President Alassane Ouattara, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, patron of the ceremony and Special Ambassador of UNAIDS for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV / AIDS and for the promotion of pediatric treatment raised an argument in favour of sick children. The UNAIDS special ambassador advocated the local production of antiretrovirals as a means of combating the lack and high cost of these treatments in Africa. "(...) I would like to once again raise my voice for our children suffering from AIDS. Indeed, the antiretroviral treatment in its pediatric form, remains hardly accessible in our countries, because too expensive. And I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to our governments and partners to explore the possibility of producing pediatric ARVs locally, which would be less expensive, "she said. In addition, the First Lady, Dominique Ouattara advocates solidarity and innovation in the process of achieving a prevalence rate of 0%. This is a real challenge for the UNAIDS Ambassador who wants to bring together Africa’s First Ladies and women's organizations to fight against the disease.

Long before the First Lady, several high- level officials took the floor to share their views on the issue.  President Alassane Ouattara has reiterated the Ivorian Government’s commitment to make every effort to fight efficiently against AIDS pandemic. As such, the Ivorian Head of state announced an increase in the contribution of the Government estimated at 21 billion CFA francs to fight more effectively against this disease.

Ms. Ceccilia Dapaah, representing the Ghanaian President, conveyed her country's support to this 19th International Conference on AIDS and STIs. For her, it is important to explore other possible solutions to eradicate this scourge.

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director, acknowledged the commitment of the Ivorian Government in the fight against AIDS. He also made a brief summary of actions carried out at the global level. For him, many efforts still have to be provided by States. "Activism, community’s commitment and science have allowed us to achieve impressive results," he said. He ended by encouraging civil society  participation and involvement in the process.