UNESCO Launches Programs To Build Capacity of Education Sector in Southern Africa To Address HIV/AIDS
UNESCO is launching programs aimed at building the capacity of the education sectors throughout Southern Africa to help fight HIV/AIDS in the region, UNESCO Zimbabwe Representative Juma Shabani said Tuesday at an HIV/AIDS skills-building meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe, Xinhua/People's Daily reports. High HIV/AIDS prevalence in the region has affected all sectors, but data vary by country on how the disease has impacted the education sector. According to Shabani, UNESCO aims to help countries in the region provide universal access to comprehensive HIV prevention programs, treatment and care. Attendees at the four-day meeting plan to develop country-specific HIV/AIDS action programs and comprehensive national education sector responses to the disease. "The activities have been planned and are being implemented as steps in continuing strategic action on education and HIV/AIDS," Shabani said. UNESCO Chief Programs Officer for Zambia Felicitas Chinanda said Southern Africa must continue to seek solutions to the region's HIV/AIDS epidemic. "It is not enough to be satisfied with the usual ordinary approaches," Chinanda said, adding, "HIV/AIDS is an extraordinary disease which needs extraordinary interventions." Zambian Education Minister Geoffrey Lungwangwa said it will be challenging for countries in the region to meet the U.N. Millennium Development Goals if they do not make significant progress in tackling HIV/AIDS. He added that a lack of resources is a primary obstacle to addressing the disease in the region (Xinhua/People's Daily, 4/24).
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