Nigeria : Vmobile forges partnerships to fight Malaria, AIDS, TB
Vmobile Nigeria has forged partnerships with the Federal Government of Nigeria, The African Union Commission, World Health Organisation and a number of other United Nations Agencies to tackle the impact of three of the leading killer diseases in the continent.
The partnership is aimed at assisting African Heads of governments, UN agencies, local and international Health experts organise an International Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (A.T.M.) in Abuja, Nigeria from 2 to 4 May 2006.
HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are the greatest contributors to high morbidity and mortality figures in Africa with the continent accounting for over a quarter of all the TB cases reported in the world and an increasing epidemic; about 60% of the cases of malaria worldwide; highest number of pregnant women and children under 5 years level at risk to malaria; and more than 60% of all people living with HIV in the world.
The Special Summit will provide a platform for the participants to review the status of implementation of the Declarations and Frameworks for Action on the 2000 Abuja Summit on Roll Back Malaria, and the 2001 Abuja Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases (ORID), and to adopt a renewed commitment for halting and then reversing the impact of these diseases by ensuring universal access to services.
The theme of the Summit is “Universal Access to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Services by 2010”.
According to Dr John Jiya, Director of Public Health, Federal ministry of Health, the Summit will provide public health policy makers and those charged with the responsibility of implementing the policies to review goal and achievement of previous Conferences; identify constraints and challenges to the achievement of the Abuja and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets; and device new strategies that will enable the continent achieve these targets.
Other objectives include to get a renewed commitment from African Leaders to tackling the diseases, and to promoting health and well-being in continent and Prepare Africa's Common Position to global forums: UNGASS on AIDS (June 2006), and World Health Assembly (May 2006), among others.
Among the 3,500 delegates from within and out the continent expected to attend the three day summit are: African Heads of State and Governments, United Nations Secretary General, Presidents of African Union, G8, and European Union, Heads of UN Agencies, African Ministers of Health and other related Agencies.
Apart from providing material support, Vmobile will provide telecommunications services for the participants, supplying phones and lines for the delegates of the Summit.
According to the organizers of the Summit the choice of Vmobile as a strategic partner for the Summit is informed by the quality of support the company provided for the recently concluded international conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (ICASA) held in Abuja.
Conference President Professor Femi Soyinka had at the end of the event praised Vmobile for the success of the global Summit, adding that it was the company’s contribution that helped the country to host the event.
In 2000 and 2001, the Heads of States and Government in Africa, under the auspices of the erstwhile Organisation of African Unity (OAU), convened two special summits on “The African Summit on Roll Back Malaria”, and African Heads of State Summit on AIDS, TB and other Related Infectious Diseases in Abuja.
David Dairo, The Quadrant Company