Rwandan First Lady Cites Ignorance as Primary Challenge in Fighting AIDS
Rwandan First Lady Jeannette Kagame at the opening of a Central African regional trainers' seminar, titled "Leadership and Community Dialogue," in Kigali, Rwanda, said that ignorance was the main challenge in overcoming the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the region, Xinhua News Agency reports. Kagame said, "We need to spread widely this message of prevention to our communities, putting more emphasis on existing scientific proofs and identifying our communities' concerns with caution." She urged conference participants to use skills learned in the seminar to break down myths surrounding the disease in their respective communities. The seminar drew delegates from Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon and Rwanda. Experts from Ethiopia and Senegal are facilitating the 11-day seminar, which is sponsored by the United Nations Development Program. Macharia Kamau, UNDP country representative, said that the biggest challenge facing African communities in the battle against AIDS is not one of drugs and equipment but of managerial and communication problems, adding that the training seminar will confront "the interference between knowledge and its gatekeepers on one hand, and individual choices, tradition and life styles on the other," according to Xinhua (Xinhua News Agency, 3/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.