Uganda to host first African HIV/AIDS vaccine research centre

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Uganda has been voted to host the secretariat of Africa’s first HIV/AIDS vaccine research center at the ongoing 5th forum of the African AIDS Vaccine Programme (AAVP) in Kampala.

The AAVP co-chairperson, Dr. Alash’le Abimku revealed that the shifting of the research center to Africa will provide a solution to the big HIV-AIDs problem, which has battled the continent, adding that Africa seriously needs the AIDS vaccine to treat the virus.

Abimku said “We saw it necessary to bring the secretariat to Africa. Since it is meant to solve Africans’ HIV-AIDs problem… it is logical that it is based on the African continent.”

Dr. Pontiano Kaleebu, the executive director of Uganda virus research institute, where the secertariat is going to be based, said that he welcomes the shifting of the secretariat to Africa saying this will help in carrying out many vaccines tests on the continent which may lead to quick discovery of the vaccine to cure the deadly disease killing Africans in big numbers.

He called upon African government leaders to help in this new initiative for it to become a success.

World Health Organization representative, Dr. Marine Paule Kieny said, “The centre of excellence will provide enhanced support to research stakeholders across Africa through capacity building and networking activities.”

She said that the shifting of the secretariat to Africa was decided upon when AAVP met in Abuja, Nigeria two years ago.

AAVP started in 2000 in Geneva, Switzerland and has been operating from there till now when they decided to move it to Africa.

Health file  The lack of education and political will, poverty, out-moded traditional beliefs, to mention but a few, have been widely blamed for causing severe and sometimes unwarranted health catastrophies of genocidal proportions on the African continent. Child killer diseases, malaria, tuberculosis, water borne diseases, HIV/AIDS, among other preventable ailments have killed millions in their wake. As rightly said by the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, on May 13, 2000 "More people (...) died of Aids in the past year (1999-2000, ndlr) in Africa than in all the wars on the continent".
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