EOC-Organised Conference on AIDS to Open Here Saturday

ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 1 (WIC) - His Holiness Abune Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) has extended a call on representatives of various sections of the society of take part in the international conference on AIDS to be conducted in Addis Ababa next November 6.

In a statement he gave to WIC in his office today, the Patriarch disclosed that the conference, to be held for half a day at the Addis Ababa Stadium Saturday beginning at 8:00 am, was organised by EOC in collaboration with Harvard University Scientists.  The Patriarch urged residents of Addis Ababa and those of the states to take active participation in the conference.  His Holiness said EOC embarked on organising the conference as an additional expression of its concern about the lethal disease.

The Patriarch said leaders of over 80 EOC churches in the capital are already conducting agitational campaigns to encourage people attend the conference.

Noting that AIDS is especially afflicting the world's poorest countries like Ethiopia, Abune Paulos said EOC has launched an extensive campaign against the disease.  Meanwhile, Dr. Mekonnen Meshesha, EOC's Commissioner of Development and Cooperation Commission, disclosed that the church during the past one and a half years has allocated 3.2 million Birr for providing public orientation on AIDS in ten towns.  He said the Commission has just prepared a plan of action for giving similar orientations in Makale, Gondar, Jimma and other towns.  Dr. Mekonnen also disclosed that following the holding of a half day conference on Saturday, the Harvard Scientists will give a series of lectures on AIDS for three consecutive days at the Economic Commission for Africa.  Over 300 scientists and concerned government officials will attend the lectures, he said.

The international conference was jointly funded by the Afro-American Research Institute, the Science Faculty of the Addis Ababa University, the Ministry of Health, Harvard University, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Council and other international organisations, it was learnt.