Greetings from Kigali, where WHO AFRO is participating in the 20th edition of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa, or ICASA. “AIDS Free Africa – Innovation, Community, and Political Leadership” is the theme of the meeting.
H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, welcomed participants with a reminder of the importance of political commitment: “It is past time for governments to allocate adequate resources in the national budgets for the health care from which our citizens benefit so much. However, spending more money is not a silver bullet. Funds must be spent well on programmes that work and are sustainable.”
The theme of political commitment was echoed by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), in his remarks at the opening plenary. “Support from the highest levels of government is essential for making real progress. Of course, commitments, declarations and resolutions are only pieces of paper unless they are implemented. The SDGs give us the mandate to work together for an AIDS-free world. With innovation, community engagement and strong political leadership, we can make that vision a reality.”….more
ICASA is the largest conference on AIDS on the African continent. It takes place every two years and brings together 10,000 activists, scientists, health care professionals, civil society representatives, representatives of international organizations and government decision-makers.
The conference aims to promote innovation; advocate for sustainable national financing; advocate for strengthened health systems; rethink gender norms, human rights-based approaches and inclusion; and promote youth-driven and youth-friendly approaches.
For more information about the conference, conference activities, and the programme: https://www.icasa2019rwanda.org/