Twelve African nations have committed and laid out plans to end AIDS in children by 2030 through an array of HIV testing, treatment and prevention programs.
This was announced through a joint statement by 12 representatives from each country in Tanzania during the first ministerial meeting of the Global Alliance to end AIDS in children.
The 2030 goal was announced by UNAIDS last year and aims to eradicate HIV among children.
The new plan includes early testing for children, increasing treatment for pregnant women with HIV, preventing infections among breastfeeding women, and addressing rights and gender barriers that hinder access to services.
The countries pledged to ensure that all children with HIV have access to life-saving treatment and that mothers living with the disease have babies free from the virus.
The twelve countries include Angola, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The countries joined the alliance in the first phase in a bid to lessen the HIV burden as they have high HIV burden.
Speaking during the forum, Health CS Susan Nakhumicha said the government is using digital technologies in ensuring access to treatment and care for all pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, providing access to universal testing and treatment for all children and adolescents living with HIV.
Globally, a child dies from AIDS-related causes every five minutes while 50 percent of children living with HIV are not on life-saving treatment according to UNAIDS.
In 2021, children accounted for 15 per cent of all AIDS-related deaths while over that same period, 160,000 children newly acquired HIV.