|A meeting of the term task group of the Council for Healthcare under the Integration Committee of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) will be held on 10-11 February in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). |
The meeting is devoted to the development of conceptual documents on institutionalization of the Regional AIDS Fund (RAF) in Central Asia and development of Regional Strategy to Fight HIV-infection epidemic in Central Asia.
Executive Director of the Central Asia AIDS Control Project Professor Meymanaliev said the decision to form a task group was made at the fifth meeting of the Healthcare Council under the EurAsEC Executive Committee held in November 2008 in Dushanbe. The decision was made to delegate one expert from each of the three countries of Central Asia, Russia and Belarus to the task group.
Taking into account the spread rate of the HIV infection in Central Asia, the countries of the region need to develop not only a common regional strategy to counter the epidemic of the HIV infection, but also effective mechanisms for its implementation into practice.
Institutionalisation of the Regional AIDS Fund is one of such mechanisms, Meymanaliev said. Today, it functions within the frames of the Project funded by the World Bank and the Department for International Development of Great Britain.
Since 2006, the RAF has extended funds to finance more than a hundred national and regional initiative projects aimed at supporting the implementation of national programmes on the fight against HIV and AIDS for the total amount of over US$6.8 million.
However, the Fund operating today has its own timeframe: the activity of the RAF is to be closed in mid-2010. That is why it is important today for the countries of the region to think through the issue of extension of the Fund's activity under the aegis of the EurAsEC following the end of the period of its financing by the international organizations.
That is why, along with the development of the regional strategy to fight HIV infection, the members of the task group will also elaborate the conceptual documents on the institutionalization of the Regional AIDS Fund in the countries of Central Asia: they will discuss and develop the draft of the conception, the charter and agreements on the institutionalization of the Central Regional AIDS Fund within the frames of the EurAsEC.
All the documents will be submitted for approval to the Healthcare Council under the Integration Committee of the EurAsEC during its next meeting to be held in June 2009 in Moscow.
According to the UNAIDS estimations in 2007 42,200 people in Central Asian region lived with HIV and AIDS, including 12,000 people in Kazakhstan, 4,200 in Kyrgyzstan, 10,000 in Tajikistan, and 16,000 in Uzbekistan. As of 1 January 2009 11,709 HIV-infected and AIDS-diseased were registered in Kazakhstan, 2,031 – in Kyrgyzstan, 1,422 – in Tajikistan. In Uzbekistan the incidents of infection made up 13,184 as of 1 January 2008.
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