Five-year HIV/AIDS Prevention, Control Programme Formulated

ADDIS ABABA, Dec. 3 (ENA) - The Health Vice Minister has announced the formulation of a five-year programme in line the National Policy for the Prevention and Control of the spread of HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Delivering the ministry's performance report to the House of Peoples' Representatives yesterday, Dr. Lamisso Hayisso, said the programme contains duties of the federal and state governments to put the spread of HIV/AIDS under control.

He indicated that 72,268 persons with HIV/AIDS have been registered up to the end of September this year in Ethiopia and 400,000 were estimated to have gone ill.

He said the number of HIV infected people in the country to date is estimated at three million.

According to the Vice Minister, the programme would help prevent further infections through participatory anti-AIDS activities.

He indicated that a draft bill establishing an HIV/AIDS prevention and control coordination council at the federal level is in pipeline for the implementation of the five-year national programme.

A directive enabling private hospitals and clinics render HIV/AIDS laboratory diagnosis services has been issued, he said.

Meanwhile, he disclosed that tuberculosis has become the second killer disease in Ethiopia after malaria with the number of patients reaching half a million and the rate of TB infections estimated at 100,000 annually.

He said, however, that 66 per cent of the total population has become beneficiary of a modern TB medication programme and the service is envisaged to reach the whole of the country within two years form now.