Must innovate, use technology to effectively tackle HIV and Aids: David Mabuza
Delivering the closing address at the conference on Friday, Deputy President David Mabuza said it was clear that if the country is to effectively tackle the epidemic, something drastic must be done.Devdiscourse News Desk | Durban | Updated: 14-06-2019 17:47 IST | Created: 14-06-2019 17:44 IST
"The theme of the conference is therefore appropriate that we must innovate and use technology at all levels to bring about sustainable change in our responses to HIV and Aids," said the Deputy President.
The conference, which was organised under the theme: "Unprecedented Innovations and Technologies: HIV and Change" has become a biannual forum since the inaugural one in 2003.
The four-day conference at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban focused on the scientific, social and digital innovations or technologies which could assist with the control of the HIV and AIDS epidemic.
Eliminate new infections
It is estimated that there are around 250 000 new infections annually.
"Our target is to get below 100 000 new infections by December 2020. This gap is big and it must be closed," said the Deputy President.
Address societal factors to HIV/Aids
Noting the multiple biological and societal factors that play a role in the transmission of the virus, Mabuza said a holistic approach to sexuality must be taken by the government.
"Our responsibility as government, including parents, is to ensure that they are equipped with education in order to lead independent and productive lives. Empowerment of women is fundamental to the transformation of society," said the Deputy President.
"Again, we need to ensure that we nurture our young men to become responsible adults," he said.
To ensure the sustainability of the flow of donor funding as well as efficient expenditure, Mabuza said provincial and district AIDS Councils must be strengthened.
"We acknowledge the advice from our experts such as Prof Abdool-Karim that our focus should be on delivery and implementation of programmes at the local and district levels," said the Deputy President.
(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)