By KABS KANU:
The Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations yesterday held a mini-press conference on the UN High-Level HIV/AIDS Meeting which starts today at the General Assembly. Present at the press conference, which was organized by the Department of News and Public Affairs of the Mission, were the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Madam Zainab Hawa Bangura; Dr. Brima Kargbo, the National Coordinator of the HIV/AIDS Program in Sierra Leone; Mr. Idrissa Songo, the National Coordinator of the Network of HIV Positives in Sierra Leone; Mrs. Valerie Tucker, the Civil Society representative from the National HIV Advocacy Network; Madam Marie Marilyn Jalloh, MP for Constituency 35, Bombali, who is Chair of the HIV/AIDS Committee in Parliament; the Focal point, Mrs.Victoria Sulimani and Minister Plenipotentiary, who is also in charge of News and Public Affairs.The Focal Point, Mrs. Victoria Sulimani, presented a briefing on arrangements so far made for the delegation from Freetown and the Mission representing Sierra Leone at the three-day Conference which will also be attended by many Heads of State of some countries.
The Minister of Health, Madam Zainab Bangura, gave a detailed presentation on the purposes of the meeting. She said that the meeting is a ten-year review of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. It must be recalled that in 2001, the UN had its first ever special session on HIV/AIDS during which it adopted the Declaration of Commitment. In 2006, the UN had another special session during which the Political Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was also adopted. She disclosed that the meeting is a strategic one during which countries will be talking about their experiences with HIV/AIDS, programs set up to combat the disease, their commitments, challenges, progress, the levels they have reached and their achievements since the disease was first diagnosed 30 years ago.
Q: WHAT IS THE STORY OF HIV/AIDS IN SIERRA LEONE?
Q. HOW DOES A PATIENT BECOME ELIGIBLE?
Q. IS SIERRA LEONE RECEIVING ANY SUPPORT IN HER EFFORTS TO COMBAT HIV/AIDS?
Q. WHAT KIND OF ASSISTANCE ARE THEY PROVIDING?
Q. WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO STABILIZE HIV/AIDS IN SIERRA LEONE:
Q. FOR THE PROGRAM TO HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL, YOU MUST HAVE CREATED AWARENESS ABOUT THE DEADLINESS OF THE DISEASE AMONG THE POPULATION.HOW DID YOU DO IT?
Q. YOU SAID YOU HAVE KEPT NEW INFECTIONS AT VERY LOW LEVELS . HOW DID YOU ACCOMPLISH THAT?
WE WILL BRING YOU FULL REPORTS OF THE CONFERENCE