At a press conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mrs. Graça Machel announced the launch of the Campaign to End Pediatric HIV/AIDS (CEPA). The campaign will mobilise the political will and financial resources needed to overcome bottlenecks to scaling up pediatric HIV diagnosis, treatment, and care programs, initially in six sub-Saharan African nations. “On the continent we are facing a potential human, social, and economic devastation of Africa’s future generations as a consequence of the impact of HIV and AIDS on our children,” said Mrs. Machel, who will chair the campaign’s pan-African Leadership Council. “We must hold our governments accountable to the promises they made to children; they must put systems in place to implement these promises; they must create good public policies and do all in their power to end pediatric HIV and AIDS on our continent,” she said.
The campaign’s ultimate goal is to overcome implementation and policy bottlenecks to increasing coverage rates for prevention of mother-to-child transmission and pediatric treatment services from the current average of 30 to 40 percent to the globally agreedupon target of 80 percent. Implementation bottlenecks include inadequate health care worker training, and insufficient transportation systems for health care commodities; policy bottlenecks include lack of long-term predictable financing, and the lack of clear national policies and targets for scaling up access to pediatric HIV/AIDS services.
For more information, visit www.endpediatricaids.net