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Last updateVen, 30 Jan 2015 5pm

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Health: Senior SADC executives to attend workshop on HIV/AIDS

Workshop on HIV/AIDS - The Mauritian Health institute and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will organise a five-day workshop in Mauritius to train trainers on HIV/AIDS next week, a Mauritian government communiqué said on Friday.

About 50 senior executives from the sub-regional organization will attend the workshop from 17-21 February on the theme: 'Enhancing capacities for the appropriation of harmonized policies and regional minimal norms for HIV/AIDS.'

Several themes will be discussed during the workshop, particularly prevention of mother-child transmission, HIV/AIDS screening and presentation of national training programmes within the framework of the illness.

The communiqué noted that one of the greatest challenges facing SADC member countries was the negative effects of the epidemic on Africa's social, political and economic development.

The UNAIDS report in 2010 on the overall number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world in 2009 says that 34% reside in 10 SADC countries.

The SADC region remains the region most affected by HIV with 53% of people living with HIV/AIDS being women. In several countries, young women and girls represent more than 80% of those of their age bracket living with the disease.

The prevalence rates vary significantly in SADC countries, from less than 1% to about 40%.

Urban populations are more affected than rural populations. 

Sources say that 92% of infections occur through heterosexual transmission. Therefore, the most affected are sexually active adults in the age bracket of 20-39 years. Vertical mother-child transmission represents 7% of the overall infections.

Member States of SADC are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Pana 15/02/2014