UNAIDS, NNPA partner to empower journalists


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The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in collaboration with National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA), USA, have pledged to empower journalists in West and Central Africa with skills and gadgets to improve their proficiency.
Dr Djibrill Diallo, Regional Director, UNAIDS, disclosed this during the regional media workshop organised by the agency in Dakar, Senegal, with the theme: “Informing the messengers to change the face of the fight against HIV in West and Central Africa’’.
He said the partnership between UNAIDS and African-American media partner networks was within the framework of 2017-2021 Plan of UNAIDS.
He said that UNAIDS has the support of the Deputy Secretary General of United Nation to design a sustainable funding mechanism for the partnership.
While speaking on the conference, the regional director said that UNAIDS has designed a Catch-Up Plan for West and Central Africa with the aim of fast-tracking HIV/AIDS response in the region.
He explained that the catch-up plan was an essential step towards the realisation 90-90-90 UNAIDS target by 2020 and ending AIDS as a public health challenge by 2030.
Diallo said the 90-90-90 target means that 90 per cent of the population will know their status, while another 90 per cent of the people found to be living with HIV would be enrolled for treatment by 2020.
The UN official added the last 90 refers to the 90 per cent of the people living with HIV, who are enrolled on treatment suppressed by the virus in their body by 2030.
He said the catch-up plan is an 18-month initiative aimed at enhancing HIV response in the region to the speed of those countries already on track of achieving the 90-90-90 target.
Diallo said the plan aims to put additional 1.2 million people living with HIV on treatment by the end of 2018.
Speaking earlier, Mr Cloves Campbell, President of NNPA, said the partnership would enable reports emanating from journalists within the region to feature in over 205 African-American newspapers.
He said that the partnership entails an exchange of journalists, supporting media organisations with equipment and attending the annual convention at USA for a greater networking.
Campbell said this is to enable African-Americans have the reports from the origin devoid of distortion.

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