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 UNAIDS to close Gambia office in September
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Posted - 01 Jul 2013 :  20:42:05  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message
This will be very unfortunate for the thousands living with HIV in The Gambia. But do they have any choice when the president is claiming that he has the cure for AIDS.


UNAIDS to close Gambia office in September

By Sarjo Camara Singateh

Foroyaa: Published on Monday, 01 July 2013

At a press briefing held on Friday, 28 June, 2013 at the GAMNASS office, the announcement was made that the UNAIDS Country office in The Gambia will be closed down in September 2013. This disclosure was made by Mr. Ahmed Jegan Loum, President of the National Association of Aids Support Organisations, who told reporters that a visiting delegation from the regional UNAIDS office in Dakar, Senegal, informed them about this planned closure.

He said the Gambia is the only country in West Africa whose Country office is being closed. Mr. Loum said, according to the team, the reason for the closure of the country office is financial constraints. He added that the team has also informed them that they want to scale up the operations at the Nigeria and Cameroon offices. On the support given to the Gambia by UNAIDS, Mr. Loum disclosed that the agency has been supporting 10 organisations and other community based organisations working in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

He however noted that this departure by the UNAIDS will be a great loss; not only to the people living with, HIV but to civil society organizations as well. Mr. Loum also noted that a total number of 15 countries worldwide will be closed down. For his part, Mr. Musa Camara, the National Coordinator of Gambia GAMNASS, said their only traditional partners have been UNAIDS. He disclosed that people living with HIV/AIDS have 11 support groups and which get funding from UNAIDs to support their training programmes as well as the rations that they give the affected people and their families. He also highlighted the various major interventions made by UNAIDS in support of HIV/AIDS prevention and support in the country.
Mr. Camara described this development as “a great misfortune” to their programmes which largely depended on this support from this UN body. He disclosed that more than 30 thousand Gambians are living with HIV/AIDS plus that undisclosed number of affected people who do not know their status. Mr. Camara re-echoed the fact that there is no scientific cure for HIV yet, and that as such they rely on Anti Retroviral (ARV) and proper nutrition.
He appealed to the UNAIDS to reverse their decision so that the positive people living with HIV in the Gambia could enjoy their rights.
“We don’t want to have more infected people or to have more double infection,” he said. The GAMNASS Cordinator expressed his fears that the closure of the country office may put the country at risk since the Global Fund programme will be phasing out come 2014.

Source: Foroyaa

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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