CanWest News Service/Edmonton Journal Examines U.N. Envoy Stephen Lewis' Tour of Mozambique to Assess HIV/AIDS Situation
August 15, 2006
CanWest News Service/Edmonton Journal on Sunday examined U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis' recent tour of Mozambique, a country that has "fought back from a devastating civil war, drought, flooding and famine only to find itself in a battle with HIV/AIDS." Treatment and awareness campaigns have helped to stabilize HIV/AIDS in other countries, but the "disease is tightening its grip on Mozambique," according to CanWest News Service/Edmonton Journal. The country is in a "grave crisis," Lewis said, adding, "I am really frightened about what is happening" there. According to Mozambique's President Armando Guebuza, about 200,000 people in the country need treatment for HIV/AIDS, but only 28,000 are receiving it. In addition, 625,000 children in the country by 2010 will have lost one or both parents to AIDS-related causes, according to CanWest News Service/Edmonton Journal. At a meeting of international aid agencies in the capital, Maputo, Lewis also discussed his efforts to establish a U.N. agency for women (Cobb, CanWest News Service/Edmonton Journal, 8/13). Lewis has presented his idea to a high-level U.N. panel that is investigating how to unify the agency's various sectors. If the panel endorses Lewis' idea, the agency would be on the agenda when the U.N. General Assembly opens in September. Lewis also has lobbied European, Latin American and African leaders to support his idea. The agency would not replace other U.N groups that work on women's issues, including the World Health Organization and the U.N. Population Fund (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/3). Lewis has said that the HIV pandemic in Africa is in part a result of gender inequality because women on the continent often are vulnerable to forced and coerced sex. Guebuza when talking with Lewis said that male domination and a lack of women's rights in Mozambique are a problem, especially in rural areas (CanWest News Service/Edmonton Journal, 8/13).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.