Swaziland: community involvement key
01 May 2007
The involvement and participation of communities in providing care and support to people living with HIV and orphans in Swaziland has been heralded as a prime example of ‘best practice’ within the AIDS response that should be further developed across the country.
At a meeting with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Swaziland, Mr Themba Absalom Dlamini, UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot applauded the excellent examples in Swaziland where decentralization of the AIDS response using local community structures has helped reach the people most in need and at risk. He encouraged Swaziland to build on these experiences to ensure future successes.
According to latest estimates, Swaziland now has the highest adult HIV prevalence in the world – 33.4%.
“Swaziland is a country facing extreme challenges, with high HIV prevalence levels—but the country has shown that by decentralizing the response, more people can be reached and engaged, with the community becoming a central force of the response,” said Dr Piot.
Commending the Prime Minister on his leadership of the national AIDS response and spearheading the National Action Plan on AIDS, Dr Piot encouraged continued leadership and action, particularly in the area of scaling up HIV prevention to halt new infections in the country. Dr Piot underlined that “the whole nation” should be engaged in a sustained social movement to intensify HIV prevention, addressing the drivers of the epidemic in Swaziland and moving towards the country’s targets for universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
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