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Gambia Commemorates World AIDS Day


Ousman Badjie
Director, National AIDS Secretariat

By Ramatoulie Jawo 

The Gambia today observed World AIDS Day ahead of the global commemoration because of the December 4 presidential election on the theme end inequality, end AIDS, end pandemic’.

Today’s commemoration was organised by the National AIDS Secretariat (NAS) at its headquarters on Kairaba Avenue.

Speaking at the event, Director, National AIDS Secretariat, Ousman Badjie said according to the global HIV statistics 2020 fact sheet by UNAIDS, an estimated 38.0 million people were living with HIV, 25.4 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy and 32.7 million people died of AIDS related illnesses since the start of the epidemic, making it one of the most destructive pandemic in human history.

He said the world is off track from delivering on the shared commitment to end AIDS by 2030 because of the structural inequalities that abstract proven solutions to HIV prevention and treatment.

“We must always remember that both HIV and COVID-19 demonstrate how health is interlinked with other critical issues, such as inequality, human rights, gender, social protection and economic growth,” Mr Badjie added.

Sherrif Badjie, assistant programme officer, Ministry of Health, (MoH)  said ending inequality requires a transformative change, political, economic and social policies  to protect the rights of everyone and address the needs of the disadvantaged and marginalized communities.

He added that the Gambian government is making serious efforts in creating an enabling environment for HIV response by putting in place the required legislative and institutional framework for addressing the scourge.

“Economic, social, cultural and legal inequalities must be ended as a matter of urgency, if we are to end AIDS by 2030,” Sherrif said.

Annually, World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1, during which people globally unite to show support for people living with HIV and remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.

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