The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland on December 20, 2017 visited the African Synergy Against AIDS and Suffering the Chantal Biya International Reference Centre.
"It is wonderful to see women scientists and men scientists working together. Anglophones and Francophones united in one effort on behalf of Cameroon. It is a real demonstration of Cameroonian talent, energy and excitement for unity." These were the words with which the visiting Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland described what she heard and saw after visiting the headquarters of the African Synergy Against AIDS and Sufferings and the Chantal Biya International Reference Centre of Excellence for Research on Prevention and Management of HIV/AIDS (CIRCB) on December 20, 2017 in Yaounde. The visit and the working sessions in these two humanitarian institutions that are the initiative of Cameroon's First Lady, Chantal Biya constituted one of the major stages in her five-day official visit to Cameroon on the invitation of President Paul Biya. She was welcomed on arrival by Public Health Minister, André Mama Fouda, Executive Secretary of African Synergy Against AIDS and Suffering, Jean Stéphane Biatcha and the Director of CIRCB, Professor Alexis Ndjolo. The Commonwealth Secretary General first had a working session in the head office of the African Synergy Against AIDS and suffering where in a video presentation, she had a knowledge of the history, mission and evolution of the institution. A similar exercise took place at the CIRCB. The only difference was that at the CIRCB, Patricia Scotland and her delegation members had a guided visit of the laboratories and other specialised units. Talking to the press after visiting the institutions, she said, "We have seen a remarkable transformation. As you know HIV/AIDS struck our world. What the experts and those who worked so diligently have done for the last 15 years is truly remarkable." She lauded Cameroon's First Lady, Chantal Biya as the First Lady, "so charmingly managed to persuade all the other First Ladies to come and support her in this initiative." Patricia Scotland said, "The Commonwealth is a family joined by values and these values are shown right here in the synergy that has been present to change the African strategy in relation to HIV/AIDS." She expressed satisfaction at the results so far obtained in fighting HIV/AIDS when she said, "The fact that the transmission from mother to children has been reduced from 12 per cent to 6 per cent is remarkable." Before leaving the two institutions, the Commonwealth Secretary- General declared, "We have to say God bless Cameroon. God bless the scientists who are working so hard. I hope they together with others across the world will rid us of HIV/AIDS."