Statements and Webcast
H. E. Ms. Fatima Franco, Under Secretary for Costal Region of Ministry of Health
10 June 2011
- Statement: Spanish (Check against delivery)
FATIMA FRANCO, Under-Secretary for Coastal Region, Ministry of Health of Ecuador, said that, in the 1970s, it was believed that transmissible diseases would be overcome by developed countries and end up on the long list of problems for developing nations. Today, the HIV/AIDS pandemic was among the world’s greatest challenges, especially in the context of the right to health. The scant understanding of the disease made it tough to tackle. Stigma and discrimination, coupled with a lack of or inadequate access to services, had affected vulnerable populations most. For its part, Ecuador had developed a national “Live Well” plan to combat the disease and was working on free universal health-care access focused on the rights and responsibilities of those living with HIV/AIDS. The Government had increased its budget for prevention and comprehensive care, and had examined the sectors of people living with HIV.
In other areas, Ecuador had improved efforts to fight mother-to-child transmission of HIV, ensure safe blood transfusions and provide care through social protection and empowerment programmes. As about 97 per cent of HIV transmission was sexual, Ecuador still faced the challenge of ensuring that information was improved for decision-making. Ecuador also was working to implement a policy to do away with stigma and discrimination. While the path had not been easy, the Government was working to guarantee the right to health for HIV-positive people, harmonizing health registries and taking innovative approaches. States must pull together to reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV and AIDS by developing policies of social and economic equality.