World Aids Day marked by sports, performances and awareness raising meetings in Somalia
1 December 2013 - Events to commemorate World AIDS Day 2013 were convened all over Somalia including sports activities, performances by local traditional dancers and singers and official receptions focusing on awareness raising. Government officials from various ministries including the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women affairs, National AIDS Commissions and Directorates of Health took part in the events organized in various regions.
In Mogadishu the Directorate of Health along with the South Central Somalia Aids Commission (SCAC) organized an event that was attended by more than 200 guests including officials, UN agencies, the Somali National Olympic Committee, religious groups, scholars, and local NGOs etc.
The Executive Director of SCAC, Ahmed Mohamed Jumale, highlighted that fact that youth are at the heart of the AIDS response, being the population group most affected by HIV. He advocated for the availability of voluntary and confidential counselling and testing centres for HIV as well as treatment centres in South Centre Somalia.
The Chair of the People Living with HIV Organization, Sheikh Zayed, invited religious leaders and communities to enhance support to people affected by the disease. The Director General of Health closed the event by making a call for support to people living with HIV and recommended the SCAC and Directorate of Health HIV unit to form a committee from different Somali institutions to raise local support. He promised to reopen the biggest VCT/ART Centre for South Central Somalia in Merca Hospital that was providing ART Treatment for many clients.