World Aids Day 20141/12/14
Closing the Gap. World Aids Day 2014
World Aids Day 2014
The global theme for World Aids Day 2014 is “closing the gap” between people who have access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services and people who are being left behind, with the aim of ending the Aids epidemic worldwide by 2030.
Closing the gap means empowering and enabling all people, everywhere, to access the services they need, so that all 35 million people living with HIV will have access to life-saving medicine. Almost two-thirds of those with HIV/AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Irish Aid supports many HIV/AIDS programmes in Africa, and works at national and global level with international organisations, governments, civil society and local communities to address the needs of people living with AIDS and to prevent the spread of the virus.
Irish Aid supports many HIV/AIDS programmes in Africa
Our assistance is targeted at our partner countries most affected by the pandemic including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Uganda. We also assist in the development and implementation of policies and programmes that strengthen the national response to HIV/AIDS.
South Africa - Our programme focuses on the needs of women and children who are affected by HIV and AIDS. We provide support to organisations working with the most vulnerable people and orphaned children. Much of this support is centred on improving the provision of community and home-based care for those affected by HIV/AIDS in rural communities.
Zimbabwe - We address the needs of the most vulnerable people and communities affected by HIV, in particular those living in rural areas in sixteen districts of Zimbabwe through the Expanded Support Programme. This includes the delivery of prevention, treatment and care services for those who are affected, including the provision of nutritious foods for those on treatment and the creation of income generation opportunities.
Lesotho - The high number of people living with HIV and AIDS has put enormous pressure on existing health services, which were already understaffed and under-resourced.
Irish Aid works closely with the Lesotho Ministry of Health and the Clinton Foundation to expand facilities and services in rural areas by upgrading nine clinics in remote rural areas; improving treatment and services including testing and the provision of anti-retroviral drugs for people living with HIV and AIDS; placing trained and experienced nurses in remote rural areas with appropriate retention packages; ensuring that treatment for HIV and AIDS is effective through better nourishment for people on treatment.
Uganda - In 2014, a number of initiatives will continue to be rolled out to strengthen the local government and local level responses to the AIDS pandemic in the Karamoja region. Irish Aid supports a HIV/AIDS Partnership Fund, made up of international donors, which is the major source of funding for HIV/AIDS coordination to strengthen planning, networking, knowledge and resource management, monitoring and evaluation, and joint advocacy/lobbying in Uganda.
Mozambique – Ireland is the focal donor in the health sector and has a long relationship with both the Ministry of Health and the National AIDS Council (CNCS). It provides over €13 million per year to the fight against AIDS and the strengthening of health services and systems. A large part of this goes towards anti-retroviral treatment and enabling the Ministry of Health to provide comprehensive HIV and AIDS services. We have a very successful and innovative partnership with the Clinton Foundation which pioneers cutting edge but locally appropriate technology to better health in areas such as Paediatric ARV treatment, Health Service Mapping, Nutrition, Maternal & Neonatal Health, HIV & TB co-infection; Mobile phone Health Information & Electronic Information Systems, Stock Management, Private Sector Supply Chain with Coke and Vaccine cold chain.
For more information on HIV and AIDS, check out the new Fr Michael Kelly website being launched today, which features lots of interesting information from previous World AIDS Day lectures.