Cameroon: Gov't Step up Research on HIV/Aids
Gov't Step up Research on HIV/Aids
The number of people on anti-retroviral treatment in the country has now increased to over 100,000.
The severity of the AIDS epidemic that affects every continent and especially the poor, its present and foreseeable consequences on the social and political stability of states justify the interest and commitment of the Minister of Public Health, André Mama Fouda.
Knowing how central research is to the effective fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, the Minister joined a team of French and Cameroonian researchers of the "Agence national de recherches sur le sida et les hépatites virales" (ANRS) in Yaounde yesterday November 15 to present research results on HIV/AIDS carried out since 2005.
While appreciating the Franco-Cameroonian partnership, Mr André Mama Fouda said progress has been made in the sector in the past few years. While waiting for preliminary findings of a health result on HIV/AIDS to be made public soon so as to have updates on the prevalence rate in Cameroon, the decentralisation of treatment, as mentioned in the ANRS research results, has gone a long way to increase the number of people taking anti-retrovirals to more than 100,000, he said. The number of deaths resulting from the epidemic has dropped in Cameroon and other countries in the south though over 33 million people continue to live with the disease worldwide.
The Coordinator of ANRS South, Sinata Koulla-Shiro, noted that resistance to drugs, inter-relationship between HIV and SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus), said to emanate from monkeys and the decentralisation programme of anti-retroviral treatment, are some of the areas highlighted by the research. She said the decentralisation of anti-retroviral treatment remains feasible and possible. The drugs used for first and second lines of the disease, are good and need to be continued. Meanwhile, research programmes on emergence of resistant strains of HIV/AIDS is underway, she hinted.
For two days, French and Cameroonian researchers meeting in Yaounde within the framework of the fourth edition of Scientific Days of ANRS will present findings of over 20 research projects carried out in the last five years. "We are also going to look at priority areas the Ministry of Public Health will want us to work on," said Sinata Koulla-Shiro. She added that they are expecting to work on Hepatitis B.
The French Ambassador to Cameroon, Minister of Women's Empowerment and the Family, Secretary General in the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation and the Director of ANRS joined researchers at the opening ceremony of the event which ends today.
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