Kingdom calls for Arab anti-AIDS strategy



RIYADH: MD RASOOLDEEN

Published — Tuesday 27 November 2012

Last update 27 November 2012 4:26 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

An increase in the incidence of AIDS in some Arab countries is a cause for concern, because of its high mortality rate, Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al- Rabeeah said. 
Ziad Al-Memish, undersecretary to the Ministry of Health for Public Health read out Al-Rabeeah’s message at the inauguration of the "Arab AIDS Initiative”, held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh on Sunday.
Al-Memish said that a vulnerable group is being affected due to unhealthy social behavior. Under these circumstances, the minister stressed the importance of an Arab strategy to fight this disease, which could otherwise, take a serious toll on our communities.
On behalf of the health minister, Al-Memish opened a new website: www.nap.sa.com and launched a national strategy to fight AIDS in the Kingdom. He also urged the delegates to form a national strategy in their respective countries to fight the disease.  The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Health in cooperation with the Arab League and the joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). 
Al-Memish said the meeting, an initiative of the Saudi government, was organized to draft a clear road map to prevent AIDS and raise greater awareness in a culturally sensitive manner. 
The undersecretary said that the incidence of AIDS in the Kingdom for the past two years has been kept at a steady rate due to the organized efforts of the Ministry of Health. “Through a mobile network campaign, we have been able to reach millions of subscribers, notifying them about the hazards of this disease,” he said.  
The mission of the National AIDS Program (NAP) is to prevent new HIV infections from occurring and working toward getting ‘zero new infections, zero deaths and zero stigma and discrimination’ in the Kingdom. 
Under the program, NAP envisions every person living with HIV and AIDS in the Kingdom will have access to quality care and will be treated with dignity. It seeks the involvement of multisectorial partners in health and non-health sectors, civil society, people affected with HIV/AIDS and faith-based organizations to halt the further spread of HIV and to maintain low prevalence rates of HIV among vulnerable groups and the general population.
Speaking to Arab News, Sanaa M Filemban, director of the national AIDS Program in the MoH, pointed out that this is only a meeting to chalk out a plan to fight AIDS at regional and national levels. She said that the MoH is planning a national program from 2013 to 2017 to combat the disease in the Kingdom. She also said that the new website and the national program would go together in the fight against this dreadful disease.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has one of the fastest-growing HIV epidemics in the world. The estimated number of adults and children living with HIV in the region increased from 320,000 in 2001 to 470,000 in 2010. The estimated number of adults and children newly infected with HIV grew from 43,000 in 2001 to 59,000 in 2010. 
The Saudi Forum on uniting Arab countries to fight AIDS held in Riyadh in 2011 called on all Arab countries to review their national strategic plans and combat AIDS, while focusing on the human rights issues of people living with HIV. The forum also urged participating nations to expand and improve their AIDS support services, treatment centers and prevention campaigns.
Jan Beagle, deputy executive director of UNAIDS, and Laila Negm, delegate minister and head of the health and humanitarian department at the Arab League, also addressed the gathering. Both government and nongovernmental representatives attended the meeting from 22 Arab countries.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The $22-billion Riyadh Metro project is going on according to the plan despite the fact that many global projects are faltering.“There are many stalled projects all over the world and not in the Kingdom alone, but the metro project in the Sau...
JEDDAH: Four members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) were stabbed by a youth who was allegedly trying to blackmail a girl in Jeddah. The incident happened on Tuesday night and the four officers, who sus...
RIYADH: A recent report released by the Ministry of Labor revealed that the number of violations registered on the ministry’s electronic program “Together for Monitoring” in the months of December 2015 and January 2016 amounted to 484, of which 157 w...
RIYADH: Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih visited the medical complex in Thuwal, near Jeddah, on Tuesday. The facility was set up by Saudi Aramco, whose chairman is the health minister himself.According to the minister, the complex provides primary hea...
JEDDAH: A number of Shoura Council members have voiced objections to some imams who express their personal opinions during Friday sermons.The members asked the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to supervise the sermons to make sure they were written by spe...
MADINAH: Street vendors near the Prophet’s Mosque pose a risk to the country’s reputation and economy besides blocking the way of service cars, Red Crescent and Civil Defense vehicles, an expert has said.Ninety-eight percent of these street merchants...
RIYADH: Appropriate action has been taken against the Haia members who were involved in beating up a girl opposite the Nakheel shopping mall here recently, but the girl was also at fault, a Haia official has clarified.“A probe has revealed that the g...
I am from the east of France but moved to Saudi Arabia from Paris in 1990. I worked for a princess as a French language tutor. I was young and single. I thought it was very exotic and mysterious. I lived in a palace. I left Saudi Arabia in 1992 and c...
JEDDAH: The Pakistan Repatriation Council (PRC) held a symposium on Kashmir and the obligation of Muslim world toward Kashmiris.It was presided by Ali Al-Ghamdi, a former Saudi diplomat. Other guests and speakers at the event were Shahid Nayeem, pres...
DAMMAM: A total of 627 kidney transplant surgeries were performed in the Kingdom last year, bringing the number of kidney transplants, performed since the beginning of the organ donation program, to 9,000 surgeries, said Dr. Faisal Shaheen, director...
ABHA: Saudi women spend more on cosmetics compared to women in the West, the Arab world and even in the Gulf, economic studies show.Recent statistics issued by the Saudi Customs suggest the amount of imported cosmetics in the past year exceeded SR2.3...
RIYADH: A study is under way to provide health insurance to Umrah pilgrims and domestic workers and certain articles of the health regulations needs to be amended, an official has said.According to local media, the statement was made by Mohammed bin...
JEDDAH: The government last year helped over 2,000 children overcome circumstances that forced them to beg or work illegally. The number of children who got help to overcome was 2,039 last year, of which the proportion of the Saudi children was 16 pe...
RIYADH: The number of visitors to the United Kingdom from Saudi Arabia has been steadily increasing from 89,000 in 2009 to 144,000 in 2014.This was revealed at a presentation made to mark the launch of “Visit Britain” program in Riyadh on Wednesday....
NAJRAN: Three members of the Saudi National Guard died in Rabuah, Najran, on Wednesday.National Guard spokesman Maj. Mohammed Omari identified them as Lt. Faisal bin Abdullah Al-Shehri, Lt. Faisal bin Talal Al-Toub and Lt. Saud bin Khaled Al-Rukhayye...

Stay Connected

Facebook