Statements and Webcast
H.E. Mr. Salomon Nguema Owono, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Health and Social Welfare
8 June 2011
- Statement: Spanish (Check against delivery)
SALOMON NGUEMA OWONO, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Equatorial Guinea, said that, according to a 2004 study, 3 per cent of the sexually active population had been affected by HIV/AIDS, placing his country at a “generalized level” of dealing with the disease. The Government’s intervention had begun with the onset of the crisis in the 1980s, and with the creation of a national programme for combating HIV/AIDS, which aimed to reduce the infection of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases. Laws and decrees had also been designed, as had an institutional framework to carry out related work, especially in the area of prevention.
He went on to say that at the end of 2009, an estimated 20,000 people in Equatorial Guinea were living with HIV/AIDS, 5,700 of whom were eligible to start antiretroviral treatment. Today, 2,700 of those patients were on that treatment, which provided a 47 per cent coverage rate — a success that had been achieved, in part, because of the provision of free antiretroviral treatment, implementation of a universal access strategy and an increase in the number of treatment centres. Also, a mother-to-child prevention programme, launched in 2005, focused on, among other things, awareness raising, assistance to children orphaned by HIV and AIDS, and efforts to ensure secure births for HIV-positive women. “We hope to change the lives of current and future generations,” he said.