World AIDS Day 2019 was observed in Eritrea on 30 November 2019 under the theme "Communities make the difference" in Asmara at the Orotta conference hall with enthusiasm. This year was the 25th anniversary to mark the day in Eritrea.
The commemoration was in the presence of the Honorable Minister of Health, Mrs Amina Nurhussein; Director General of public health, Dr Andebrhan Tesfatsion; UN Agencies; National Union of Eritrean Women representatives; National Union of Youth and Students representatives, the Religious leaders, Students, People living with HIV/AIDS and invited guests.
The Director General of public health, Dr Andebrhan Tesfatsion, on behalf of honorable Minister of Health said that though Eritrea has made considerable progress towards reducing the number of people living with HIV/AIDS and still have a number of cases living with HIV. The continual work with partners in preventing further spread of the disease would allow achieving elimination of the disease.
UN Resident Coordinator in Eritrea, Ms Susan Ngongi read the message of Secretary General emphasized on the essential role that communities have played and continue to play in the HIV/AIDS response at the international, national and local levels communities are the lifeblood of an effective response to societal challenges. She congratulated Eritrea on the achievements registered so far and affirm the UN Family continue to accompany Eritrea in its mission to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.
In the event, a very detailed, clear, educative and attractive presentation on current situation of HIV/AIDS both at global and national levels, by Sister Nighisty Tesfamichael, Head of the National HIV/AIDS control program was delivered. She called participants to 'Know their status' - everyone to undergo medical testing to discover if they have the virus and to ensure those positive receive the right treatment and care.
At the closing, Honorable minister of health said that Eritrea's remarkable success in the fight against HIV/AIDS epidemic is therefore evident and have to be documented and shared its good news with other countries. She called on all the participants to work harder to maintain the achievement and to go far to end HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The commemoration involved different educational and entertaining activities, amongst were songs, poems, drama and general knowledge competitions among students. Testimonials from people living with HIV/AIDS was also delivered which received a big applaud from the participants.
World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year. It is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS- related illness.
Honorable Minister of Health - Mrs Amina Nurhussien and a section of the participants