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International News
East African NGOs Meet to Discuss Fight Against HIV/AIDS

September 30, 2008

Nongovernmental organizations from 14 East African countries met recently in Kigali, Rwanda, for a two-day meeting to discuss future strategies against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the region, the New Times/ reports. The Eastern African National Networks of AIDS Service Organizations planned the meeting, during which the participating organizations discussed future plans for dealing with the virus, harmonized regional civil society HIV/AIDS initiatives and enhanced linkages between the groups. The meeting included groups from Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zanzibar.

Aimable Mwananawe, chair of the Forum Against AIDS in Rwanda, said the meeting "helped us because we shared experiences from others and compared them with our realities here while we design our own strategic plans." He added that the need to share information about the implementation of major HIV/AIDS programs makes it "necessary to connect local NGOs to international NGOs so that they collaborate in their interventions."

Rwanda's HIV/AIDS prevention programs -- particularly those aimed at women, pregnant women and other groups -- can serve as a positive example to other countries, according to Kekoura Kourouma, country coordinator of UNAIDS. Kourouma added that the programs are a "pilot example" for HIV/AIDS prevention (Kwibuka, New Times/, 9/29).

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