26 September 2017

Ethiopia: Institute Says National Anti-HIV, Aids Interventions Successful

The National HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control efforts over the past fifteen years has brought significant impact in containing the disease , says the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI).

"Ethiopia has reduced new HIV and AIDS incidence rate by 65 per cent and that of mortality by 45 per cent," said EPHI Director General Dr. Ebba Abate to The Ethiopian Herald.

A recent survey shows that the national prevalence rate about 1.1 per cent, which is a similar figure six years back, he disclosed.

The Director General associated the achievements with the formulation and implementation of HIV and AIDS policy, the importing and distribution of anti-HIV-drugs and feeless medical service, high level awareness creation, large investment on building and modernizing HIV and AIDS laboratories, and applied research among others.

HIV and AIDS treatment service distribution has similarly reached 1043 now from 353 in 2006.

Dr. Ebba indicated that Ethiopia's triumph, like other Sub Saharan African countries that have similarly implemented the global HIV and AIDS strategy, has been modelled by many at international level.

He nevertheless supposed that there could be some threats and challenges that can potentially retrograde the achievements so far. This might occur in connection to the ongoing accelerated national socioeconomic development new social groups that are vulnerable to the disease.

"The development and expansion of industrial parks is meant to inhabit close to 60,000 people at an area. The opening of new universities and a large scale expansion of old ones also presents a situation where tens of thousands of students live together. Besides, large scale commercial farms do so," he illustrated.

Whilst, the EPHI briefed the media that it, in collaboration with Ethiopia Population- Based HIV Impact Assessment and Ethiopia Public Health association, is to undertake a national research on the impacts gained due to the HIV and AIDS prevention and control intervention by Ministry of Health.

Having technical and financial support from the US based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ICAP the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP) at Columbia University, the study will last one year and participates 12,000 families and 25,000 individuals in 395 weredas, as EPHIA director Dr. Hailemariam Eshete said.

The study is principally targeted at determining the quality of treatment, counselling, etc. services given to the HIV-positive people, tracing whether these people developed other illnesses like hepatitis, gonorrhea, etc. and providing the necessary medical service according to the Director.

Besides, it will contribute provide data on the status of HIV and AIDS program at national and state level.

The impact assessment will be conducted using high-tech lab and system and health professionals trained for the purpose, Dr. Hailemariam said.

The study will have a significant impact for the success of Ethiopia's implementation of the UNAIDS' 90-90-90 plan the nation adopted, the director added.

It will be officially launched on September 30, 2017.


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