HHS Secretary Reiterates Support For HIV/AIDS Efforts In Rwanda

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HHS Secretary MikeLeavitt on Monday during a two-day trip to Rwanda reiterated U.S.support for HIV/AIDS and malaria efforts in the country and called forsustainable relations between the two governments, the New Times/AllAfrica.com reports (Muramila, New Times/AllAfrica.com [1], 8/27).

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Leavitt and several U.S. officials are on a 10-day tour of four African countries to highlight programs funded by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the President's Malaria Initiative. They have visited South Africa and Mozambique and also plan to visit Tanzania (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/24).

Leavitton Sunday visited PMI-funded projects in the Gasabo district ofRwanda's capital, Kigali, that are providing malaria treatment tochildren under age five. PMI also is helping health care workers whoprovide training courses to drug distributors. "I saw that the programsare having an impact on the ground because every child with fever canget medicine," Leavitt said, adding, "They demonstrated to me that thiswas a very successful program." Leavitt also said that Rwandans shouldaccess HIV testing and counseling services and that the two countrieswill continue to work together to provide treatment to people livingwith the virus.

Rwandan Prime Minister Bernard Makuza on Mondayafter holding talks with Leavitt called for increased voluntary HIV andmalaria testing in the country. He also said that Rwandan residentsshould adopt sustainable health behaviors to bolster the country'seconomic development. "We have held talks on how those programs aregoing on and how they will continue in the country," Makuza said,adding, "This is pertinent because when people are healthy they caneasily empower themselves economically" (Muramila, New Times/AllAfrica.com[2], 8/27). Leavitt before leaving the country is scheduled to visitHIV/AIDS and malaria programs supported by PEPFAR and PMI in Rwanda'sWestern province (New Times/AllAfrica.com [1], 8/27). According to theU.S. Embassy in Rwanda, the U.S. has provided about $167 million inofficial aid to the country in 2007, with the largest portion going toHIV/AIDS and malaria programs (RNA/AllAfrica.com, 8/28).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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