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World AIDS Day: 46,000 living with HIV/AIDS in Sudan

December 3 - 2020 KHARTOUM / NEW YORK
World AIDS Day 2020 poster (UN)
World AIDS Day 2020 poster (UN)

A total of 46,000 people are known to be living with HIV/AIDS in Sudan, according to the latest figures official released Ministry of Health. Sudan has received an estimated $140 million in grants to help combat AIDS.

In a statement to mark World AIDS Day 2020 on Monday, the coordinator of Sudan’s National AIDS Programme, Mahdi Mustafa, told the Sudan News Agency in Khartoum that “the Health Ministry represented in the National AIDS Programme is fully committed to reach the goals of sustainable development in Sudan and to eliminate HIV/AIDS”.

Mustafa called on the government, donors, religious leaders, civil society, and everyone in society to “participate to make the world healthier”.

The UN Population Fund’s AIDS official in Sudan Mohamed El Zaki called on partners to provide health funding for AIDS.

The National AIDS Programme at the federal Ministry of Health reported that to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, Sudan has received an estimated $140 million in grants for the coming three years from the Global Fund, that mobilises and invests more than $4 billion a year to support programmes run by local experts in more than 100 countries.

The head of the Key Categories Unit of the Health Ministry, Mujtaba Hasan, said that despite the presence of 46,000 infected people, his country is classified as “low HIV infection”, with the rate of 0.2 per cent among the total population. About 1,800 people die of AIDS-related illness each year. Hassan said that free treatment and examinations are available for people with AIDS in 42 centres.

Global solidarity, shared responsibility

World AIDS Day 2020 carries the slogan “Global solidarity, shared responsibility”,

In a statement to mark the occasion, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres reminds the world in the COVID-19 of era of another pandemic that has been a reality for four decades:

“With the world’s attention focused on the COVID-19 crisis, World AIDS Day is a reminder of the need to maintain focus on another global pandemic that is still with us nearly 40 years after it emerged.

“Despite significant successes, the AIDS emergency is not over. HIV still infects 1.7 million people each year and kills some 690 000. And inequalities mean that those who are the least able to stand up for their rights are still the most affected.

“COVID-19 has been a wake-up call to the world. Inequalities in health affect all of us. No one is safe unless we all are safe.

“The HIV response has much to teach the fight against COVID-19. We know that to end AIDS and defeat COVID-19 we must eliminate stigma and discrimination, put people at the centre and ground our responses in human rights and gender-responsive approaches.

“Wealth should not determine whether people get the health care they need. We need a COVID-19 vaccine and HIV treatments and care that are affordable and available to everyone, everywhere.

Health is a human right. Health must be a top investment priority to achieve universal health coverage. On this World AIDS Day let us recognize that, to overcome COVID-19 and end AIDS, the world must stand in solidarity and share responsibility,” the Secretary-General said.

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