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Sudan Tribune

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Kiir calls for aggressive awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS in South Sudan

By Isaac Vuni

December 1, 2007 (JUBA, Sudan) — The president of the government of Southern Sudan, Lt. General Salva Kiir Mayardit has today urged to seriously take the fight against HIV/AIDS which he described as the greatest killer in Southern Sudan and the world at large.

Salva Kiir
Salva Kiir
Speaking at occasion commemorating World AIDS 20th Day of 2007 organized by Southern Sudan AIDS Commission at Juba Football stadium under the theme, “Take the Lead, Fight HIV/AIDS in Southern Sudan”, Kiir say he was sadden to learn that the highest level of understanding about HIV/AIDS in Southern Sudan only stood at 6.1 per cent and its from one state of Western Equatoria-Yambio; while the lowest is 1.1 per cent in the state of Warrap.

President Kiir directed the GoSS Commission of HIV/AIDS to seriously intensify their aggressive campaign on HIV/AIDS awareness in the whole of Southern Sudan. And to also ensure that HIV/AIDS education is included in southern Sudan school syllabus in the coming academic year.

He further called on the media and religious leaders to include HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in their daily enlightening programs so that the entire masses of southern Sudan are enlighten on the danger of HIV/AIDS and also how to protect and prevent is separation in the Sudanese society.

He directed all GoSS ministers, Governors, MPs, Commissioners, Chiefs, and political parties in Southern Sudan, to talk and lead the HIV AIDS awareness campaign within their respective areas.

Kiir also cautioned the SPLA and the organized forces that he said have more sexual appetite to be careful and to refrain from using their guns for threatening women to succumb for sex especially the foreign one.

Meanwhile the representative of UN resident Humanitarian Coordinator said “Over 6800 world wide people are being infected daily and that 96% are in low and middle income countries and half of them are female.”

The HIV/AIDS death toll of 2007 is 2.1 million people out of which 1.7 million are adults and 330,000 are children under 15 years.

The chairman of southern Sudan HIV/AIDS Commission, Dr. Bellario Ahoy Hair appealed to all southern Sudanese to seek knowledge about HIV/AIDS at all time to enable them protect and eradicate separate of HIV in the society, fight stigma associated with HIV/AIDS in order to enable them take care of those infected with HIV/AIDS in their midst.

This year World AIDS Day was commemorate in a unique form that involved Juba Cross Country Race by more than 400 participants drawn from the ten states of southern Sudan including neighboring Ugandan and Kenyan and it was flashed off by GoSS Minister for Culture Youth and Sports, His Excellency Albino Akol Akol. The participants were grouped into two categories, junior and senior runners for peace in southern Sudan.

The junior runners ranging from 12 to 15 years ran for a distance of four kilometers while the senior runners covered a distance of 14 kilometers respectively.

(ST)