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New UNAIDS boss calls for renewed fight

By Pascal Kwesiga

Added 13th October 2016 08:23 AM

According to the 2015 Uganda HIV/AIDS country progress report, new infections in reduced to 83,000 in 2015 from about 100,000 in 2014.

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The new UNAIDS country director, Sande Amakobe during an interview at Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October 12, 2016. Photos by Mary Kansiime

According to the 2015 Uganda HIV/AIDS country progress report, new infections in reduced to 83,000 in 2015 from about 100,000 in 2014.

The new UNAIDS country director, Sande Amakobe, has appealed to Uganda and partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS to accelerate the campaign against the scourge to bring down the new annual infections.

According to the 2015 Uganda HIV/AIDS country progress report, new infections in  reduced to 83,000 in 2015 from about 100,000 in 2014.

The number of babies born with HIV/AIDS reduced to 3,500 in 2015, from 5,200 in 2014.

Amakobe, who has replaced Musa Bungudu, was received by the foreign affairs state minister, Henry Okello Oryema in Kampala. Bungudu, who has been in Uganda for over six years, retired to his home country Nigeria recently.

Amakobe had a brief closed door chat with Oryema at the foreign affairs ministry headquarters before she spoke to the press.

She applauded Uganda for the successes it has recorded in reducing HIV/AIDS transmission from mothers to babies and new infections among adults.

 oreign affair state minister enry kello ryema receives the new  country director ande makobe at inistry of oreign ffairs ampala on ctober 12 2016 Foreign affair state minister, Henry Okello Oryema receives the new UNAIDS country director, Sande Amakobe at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kampala on October 12, 2016.

 


“I am happy to be associated with a country that was applauded globally for innovations in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the early years. I am grateful for the work the government is doing to fight the scourge,” she added.

However, with the annual new infections still at over 80,000, Amakobe said the Government and HIV response partners should step up the fight against the disease still ravaging many African countries.

“We should not take our foot off the accelerator. It is possible to get to the zero infections and ending HIV/AIDS requires us to work together,” she added.

Amakobe, who has been serving in a similar position in Malawi and Lesotho before her deployment to Uganda recently, previously served as the deputy country representative and country director for Oxfam in Rwanda and Zambia respectively.

She has also served as Oxfam’s regional manager for Eastern Europe, Middle East, Southern Africa and the Common Wealth independent states of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Amakobe has also previously served as the regional director for ActionAid International for Southern Africa and thematic head for HIV/AIDS response in Africa.  
 

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