EGPAF Nampula Receives a VIP Visitor
On May 30, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) in Nampula province was visited by Manuel Guimarães, permanent secretary for the provincial government. This was the first visit to the office by a high-ranking government official. The objective of the visit was learn more about how EGPAF is implementing its programs in the province and deliver recommendations on how to better fight HIV/AIDS.
Fulgêncio Sambola, EGPAF provincial coordinator, shared an overview of EGPAF activities with Secretary Guimarães. Though there has been a great deal of success, he said, “We still have a lot to do.”
Secretary Guimarães and his team had a good impression of the activities completed by the Foundation.
“Unfortunately, Elizabeth Glaser is not alive,” he said. “(But) I am sure if she were alive she would help us better to define how to eliminate this disease. That´s why we need to unite the means we have so that we can really fight HIV/AIDS.”
Secretary Guimarães added that he was happy with the main objective of the Foundation, particularly because of its focus on saving the lives of children by reducing mother-to-child HIV infections.
He mentioned that Nampula has the second-lowest HIV rate (4.6 percent) in the country. However, his visits to local communities show the disease is still a problem and more interventions must be taken.
The Permanent Secretary said that he appreciated EGPAF because of its focus on the needs of patients, differing from what other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) do in Mozambique. He added that the health center should be a training site for leaders in the fight against AIDS.
“We have a center where we train different staff of the government,” he said. “We should use this center to train the leaders and different staff who are important (in) the fight against HIV. We need to think together about the multiple activities which can be done by NGOs like EGPAF.”
Before the end of this year, the EGPAF team in Nampula will have a meeting with the governor of the province, Cidália Chaúque.
Arsenio Manhice is Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer for the Foundation, based in Mozambique.
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