Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo confirmed his support for shared responsibility and global solidarity in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria at the session on Sustainable Solutions for the AIDS Response in Africa during the 67th United Nations General Assembly today.
“I can assure you that my country, Equatorial Guinea, is steadfast in its support for the statement made by the Heads of State and Government of the 29th African Union Ordinary Assembly Session in Addis Ababa in July 2012 in favor of a roadmap for shared responsibility and global solidarity in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” said President Obiang in his speech.
President Obiang recognized the persistent efforts by governments to mitigate and eradicate pandemics that affect the African continent. “Malaria, for example, is a major cause of infant mortality in many countries, particularly in Africa. AIDS is now a global problem that is slowly eroding the potential and socio-economic engine in many countries in our community, in particular the African continent. This disease is killing our demographic layers such as youth, urban and rural populations, which constitute the workforce and our human capital.”
In his address, President Obiang encouraged other governments to continue to fight against AIDS, appealing to the solidarity and support of the international community. “With the humanitarian spirit that characterizes the people of Equatorial Guinea, we join the effort with initiatives such as the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Award for research in life sciences, which encourages the international scientific community to seek remedies for diseases that threaten the welfare and human existence, such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.”
“A new roadmap presents a set of practical African solutions condensing shared responsibility and global solidarity for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria responses in Africa. The solutions are organized around three pillars: diversified financing, access to medicines, and advanced health offices,” said Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of State, acknowledged that African leaders are stepping up to help their own people and assured them that the Untied States will continue to support its partners. She continued to say “We have to be smart about the resources we deploy. We have to work together and learn from each other.”
Today, President Obiang met with Luc Gnacadja, executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Dr. Ikililou, President of Comoros and Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan.
As former Chairperson of the African Union, President Obiang served as a keynote speaker at a high-level reception to celebrate the achievements of the UN decade to Roll Back Malaria last year. Equatorial Guinea has one of Africa’s most successful programs to fight the spread of malaria and has reduced the incidence of the disease by 57% in just four years.
The anti-malaria project, sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Marathon Oil Corporation, and Medical Care Development International (MCDI), is currently focused on the island of Bioko, where more than half the population of Equatorial Guinea lives, and has been extended to 2013 to develop local capacity and build campaign on the mainland. The program to control malaria is part of a broader effort by the government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, to improve public health in the West African nation.