By Tabora Bojang
Regional stakeholders from The Gambia, Senegal and Guinea -Bissau recently launched a regionally coordinated database platform dubbed ‘computerised platform for cross-border management of HIV/AIDS’ aimed at strengthening cross-border surveillances and cooperation between the three West African nations for effective and preventive control of the deadly human immune virus.
Officials said the project will be implemented in its pilot phase at some health facilities to facilitate exchanges between health providers and between associations of people living with HIV and AIDS within the three countries.
Supported by the Luxemburg Ministry of Cooperation as part of activities under the FEVE project, the initiative aims to strengthen cross-border health cooperation by setting up a multimedia platform common to all the three countries beyond language barriers.
Speaking at the event, the deputy director of the National Aids Secretariat, Alpha Khan said the initiative attests the excellence relations of the three countries as partners in the fight against HIV and AIDS due to the high mobility vulnerable populations of the three countries.
He said: ”This is why as stakeholders we felt the need to establish the platform to capture all the relevant data relative to cross border activities on HIV and AIDS. The risk of transmission is higher in the cross-border area due to the different infection rates, the anonymous movement of people and less attention on the part of the administrative services delivered by the countries.”
Mr. Khan stated that achieving the UNAIDS strategic vision to eliminate HIV transmission chain 2030 in relation to sustainable development objectives is a crucial step towards ending AIDS as a threat to public health by 2030. He said the strong ongoing commitment to HIV control is materialising through the development and implementation of catch-up plans, at both country and regional levels.
He called on actors to contribute daily through their commitments and activities as well as multi-sectoral collaboration for realisation and successful implementation of the project.
A representative from the ENDA coordination team from Bissau, Nguissali Turpin said the project was designed to support unprecedented and groundbreaking initiatives that will have positive impact on health and development in West Africa. Adding that innovation is the best way to address the continuing health and development challenges, the region faces.
According to officials, the effective and preventive control of HIV and AIDS ought to be base on concerted and innovative strategies as the platform aims at improving HIV communication and care in the border areas, through the set-up of a computerised platform that is dynamic and secured.