WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA 14 June 2009 – The 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting concluded after four days of discussions, presentations, and plenary sessions.
The Honorable Richard Kamwi, Minister of Health and Social Services from the Government of the Republic of Namibia presided over the closing. Her Excellency First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba delivered closing remarks at the conference, marking the finish of another successful Implementers’ Meeting. They were joined by Ambassador Dennise Mathieu, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Namibia, and Ms. Elizabeth Lule, Manager of the World Bank’s AIDS Campaign Team for Africa.
Three key themes arose repeatedly at the conference: sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness, and prevention.
Discussions focused on the need for programs to be locally owned and led to ensure the sustainability of HIV/AIDS efforts. While international organizations play a key role in supporting national strategies, leadership from host nations is essential. In addition, all partners must work together and clearly set out roles, responsibilities, and accountability of host governments, civil society, and international partners.
In this time of global economic pressures, presenters emphasized the need to use funds for HIV/AIDS programs as effectively and efficiently as possible. With HIV/AIDS, both wasted money and low-impact programming cost lives.
Participants also stressed the need for prevention to be at the center of all HIV/AIDS efforts. While treatment has been an extraordinary success, the number of new infections continues to outpace the number added to treatment. Conversations highlighted the need for all partners to redouble efforts to achieve ‘combination prevention,’ using a broad range of interventions that address the behavioral, biomedical, and structural factors that create risk for HIV infection.
Recognizing the critical need for sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness, and a renewed focus on prevention, participants of the 2009 Implementers’ Meeting will draw upon the best practices and lessons learned presented at the conference to inform HIV/AIDS program implementation in the upcoming year.
For more information on the meeting, please visitwww.hivimplementers.org. An archived webcast of select sessions from the meeting and related online resources will be available following the meeting.
A blog on the conference by former Boston Globe reporter John Donnelly is available on the Center for Global Health Policy website at http://sciencespeaks.wordpress.com/category/hiv_conference/. The blog features guest entries and interviews by representatives from meeting co-sponsors, implementing partners, and civil society organizations.
Information about the host of the meeting:
The Government of Namibia combats HIV/AIDS through a comprehensive response that includes strengthening the enabling environment; prevention; increasing access to treatment, care and support; mitigating socio-economic impacts; and integrated and coordinated program management. Our guiding principles are: broad political leadership and commitment; promotion and protection of human rights; people living with HIV/AIDS are central; reduction of stigma and discrimination; multi-sector engagement, partnerships and civil society involvement; good governance, transparency, accountability and sustainability; and evidence based action to enhance the continuum of prevention, care and support through a responsive and flexible systems approach. For more information about the Government of Namibia (GRN), please visit www.grnnet.gov.na. And for further information about Namibia’s response to HIV/AIDS, please visit www.hivresponse.gov.na.
Information about the sponsors of the meeting:
The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was launched in 2003 to combat global HIV/AIDS, and is the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history. Working in partnership with host nations, over ten years PEPFAR plans to support treatment for at least 3 million people, prevention of 12 million new infections, and care for 12 million people, including 5 million orphans and vulnerable children. For more information, please visit www.PEPFAR.gov.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a unique global public/private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts dealing with the three diseases. For more information about the Global Fund, please visit www.theglobalfund.org.
UNAIDS is an innovative joint venture of the United Nations, bringing together the efforts and resources of the UNAIDS Secretariat and ten UN system organizations in the AIDS response. The Secretariat headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland—with staff on the ground in more than 80 countries. The Cosponsors include UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank. Contributing to achieving global commitments to universal access to comprehensive interventions for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support is the number one priority for UNAIDS. Visit the UNAIDS Web site at www.unaids.org.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and HIV/AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries. The Bank provides low-interest loans, interest-free credits and grants to developing country governments for a wide array of purposes that include investments in education, health, infrastructure, private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. In HIV/AIDS, World Bank support helps countries prevent HIV infections while scaling up treatment, care and mitigation support to all who need it. The Bank emphasizes using evidence to develop sound strategies that focus on results. For more information on the World Bank’s response to HIV/AIDS, please visit www.worldbank.org/aids.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. For more information, please visit www.who.int.
The Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+) is a global network for and by people living with HIV. GNP+ advocates to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. The central theme for the work of GNP+ is Reclaiming Our Lives! GNP+ programs are organized under four platforms of action: Sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV Prevention; Human rights; and Empowerment. For more information, please visit www.gnpplus.net.