Govt, Partners Finalize Liberia’s HIV Strategic Plan

Stakeholders discussing the country's six year AIDS strategic plan
Stakeholders discussing the country’s six year AIDS strategic plan

The Government of Liberia, through the National AIDS Commission (NAC), and the National AIDS/STIs Control Program (NACP) in collaboration with the United Nations System and civil society organizations in Liberia have finalized a technical review and validation of the National Strategy Plan (NSP) 2015-2020 on HIV & AIDS.

The NSP is aimed at mobilizing resources to finance the national HIV and AIDS response, providing treatment, care and support to address the welfare of people living with HIV over the next six years.

The review and validation of the NSP 2015-2020 retreat which is being financed by the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Global Fund is attended by over 36 national and international partners including representatives of the government and UN organizations, as well as people living with HIV, key populations, faith-based organizations, media network and institutions.

Authorities of NAC and NACP say, the NSP 2015-2020 is an expression of the Liberia’s vision of achieving the universally desirable goal of “Zero New HIV Infections, Zero AIDS-Related Deaths, and Zero Discrimination” in the six years, as the global plan is about to elapse.

The NSP is premised on the evidence of the epidemic in the Liberia context and driven by Liberia’s commitment to achieve sustainable results in a resource-constrained environment, Dr. Wilfred S. Boayue, NAC’s Commissioner for programs and policy said.

Representing the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Mr. David Logan, Global Fund program manager in Liberia said the NSP 2015-2020 seeks to optimize the outcomes of the national HIV response interventions through the complementary and collateral benefits realized from implementing selected key social and programmatic enablers and building synergies with key development sector programs that have bearings on HIV and AIDS.

“This is a very important exercise for the Country. We are having this retreat to review and validate a document that will help us present a national proposal to our global partners. It is an effort to mobilize resources for the financing of the NSP 2015-2020,” Mr. Logan said.

UNAIDS Liberia Officer-In-Charge Isaac Ahemesah said the development of the NSP 2015-2020 is an important step to doing the right thing in the right direction.

He said the document, if completed, will positively abet the national HIV and AIDS response.

“This process will help Liberia correct the wrongs especially after the implementation of the National Strategy Framework I and II, as such, we should look at the technical details/context of the NSP to benefit Liberians in totality,” the UNAIDS OIC noted.

For his part, Dr. Ivan F. Camanor, Chairman of NAC also acknowledged the importance of the retreat and the validation of the NSP 2015-2020; noting that it will guide the County in the next six years.

“You will not be able to edit this document after these exercises that will be held for these few days. I hope you will put in your all-making this NSP the best for Liberia and Liberians. The NSP 2015-2020 is to stop new HIV infections and keep PLHIV alive and healthy,” Dr. Camanor challenged the participants.

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Author: D K Sengbeh

Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh (author of Sengbeh's Weblog) is a respected and renowned Liberian journalist, poet and writer with with journalism experience since 2001, of working both as a mainstream journalist and a communication/media consultant in Liberia. He is Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (elected Dec 2013). He was Assistant Secretary General of the Union Dec 2011 to Dec 2013. He is also Editor-In-Chief of The Informer Newspaper—one of Liberia’s credible dailies. Before joining the Informer, Danicius had served as reporter, chief reporter, sub-editor and News Editor at The Independent Newspaper between 2002 and 2006. Before then, he was reporter at the defunct Patriot Newspaper and Kiss FM 2001-2002. Danicius is a UN Media Fellow and Liberia’s first UN Medal Award-winning journalist for his contribution to journalism and for being the second Liberian journalist in 15 years to qualify for and successfully attended the United Nations’ Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalist Fellowship Program in New York and Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Sociology from the University of Liberia and a Diploma in Journalism from the International School of Journalism. He holds several awards and recognitions both in and outside of journalism, and carries dozens of certificates in journalism and communication from studies in Ghana, China, United States and Switzerland, among others. He volunteers as Chair of the Information and Communication Committee of his local Bardnersville community. He can be quickly reached via (+231) 886586531/777586531/777464018/ dakasen1978@yahoo.com

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