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Red Cross Says Fund Boost and Awareness Are the Main Ingredients to Fight AIDS

Red Cross is the international organization which is actively working on the reduction and eventually the removal of AIDS from the face of the earth//. It urged the southern African governments to increase various methods and campaign to fight against HIV and AIDS. With this issue in mind it has launched an appeal for $290-million (about R1,75-billion) to the world to fight the deadly disease in Africa.

Francoise Le Goff, regional director of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said that the magnitude of the HIV and AIDS epidemic is of great magnitude. There is an enormous amount of work to be done in the region and hence the need of this huge amount of money. They have launched the five year plan to fight the pandemic in 10 southern African countries.

This plan included integrating food aid with its home-based care programme; supporting government efforts in rolling out antiretroviral treatment and calling for government, private sector and international community support for orphans and children. Le Goff said it was looking after more than 50 000 home-based patients and around 100 000 orphans made vulnerable by the disease in the region. But statistics show that about 25,8 million people are living with HIV and AIDS and over four million orphaned children.

Hence the Red Cross is appealing for more support to scale up their operations. It also launched at the two-day symposium and appealing for 290 million dollars to increase its work in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Sub-Saharan Africa has just over 10 % of the world's population, but is home to more than 60 % of all people living with HIV.

Statistics show that in the previous year about 3,2 million people in the region became newly infected, while 2,4 million adults and children died of AIDS. It also aimed at helping communities in reducing the stigma around AIDS and di scrimination by chiefs and other influential leaders thereby creating awareness among the people and paving the way to a world sans the deadly disease.


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