MOH News

UN Lauds Kingdom’s Efforts in Combating AIDS
26 July 2011
   The United Nations has lauded the Kingdom’s efforts in fighting AIDS, ways of treatment and the professional mechanism which have reduced the number of cases, and classified the country as being among the countries with the lowest infection rate. The Kingdom now has less than one case for every 1,000 adults.
In a letter to His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, the UN’s Regional Director for the AIDS Program for Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa, expressed her admiration for the Kingdom’s actions, including early examination detection of the disease, expansion in opening up counseling and examination clinics and providing medications and preventive methods treatment and methods to prevent proliferation of the disease.
She praised the Ministry of Health’s initiative which launched recently through the current year under the name of "Riyadh Declaration” which unified all the methods for fighting the disease in the GCC countries by expanding the use of modern detection methods, following its development in advanced centers and providing the modern treatment.
In her letter, she clarified the importance of collaborative work to carry out preventive and therapeutic programs, especially in the areas of fighting the social stigma and segregation, preserving AIDS patients’ rights, and working on the protection of youth, woman and child from being infected with the disease.
She also stressed the importance of the partnership between the regional office for the Mediterranean east and the North of Africa  for the UN AIDS program with the Ministry of Health  to work together to achieve the intended the goals in this field. The Regional Director showed the organization's willingness to support the ministry's efforts and the kingdom national programs for AIDS combat by harnessing all the available opportunities in the Regional Office for UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to support AIDS program, civil community organizations and non-governmental voluntary organizations working in the field of AIDS specially programs which reaches out to those with high risk of catching the disease.
 In the same context, National AIDS Program Director, Dr. Sanaa M. Filemban, stated that the group of youth aged from 15 to 49 is the most-affected group in the Kingdom.
She confirmed that The Kingdom is among the countries with the lowest infection rate with less than one case for every 1,000 adults. In 2010, 439 Saudis and 682 expatriates were found to have AIDS, while the accumulative total number of detected cases since 1984 to the end of 2010 was 4,458 Saudis and 11,876 expatriates.
The National Program Director Dr. Filemban  pointed out that AIDS infection  transmits through unsafe sexual intercourse  with infected person , from the infected mother to her fetus during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding and through the mutual injection  or contaminated puncture during drug injection .In addition there are cultural, social and economical factors which contribute to spreading the infection  through its effect on  the manners related to infection transmission, the stigma and  discrimination against those infected with the virus.
The Ministry of Health, through the National AIDS Program, works on enhancing the individual's health and community through protection from the sexually transmitted diseases largely and the treatment of those infected in particular. It eager to provide therapeutics and preventive services in a way that cares about confidentiality in tackling the information related the AIDS patients and support social and psychological sides for the recorded cases; it maintains the individuals' dignity, their rights, their secret and their privacy. The program also carries out  several activities which is presented for the infected  and others; it provides several social, psychological, therapeutic and preventive services of which there are programs related to spreading preventive and health awareness about the infection and the right education about the manners related to the infection. It works on guaranteeing the safe manner , reducing the risks of transmitting the infection and conducting the researches and behavioral , preventive surveys to determine  the seriousness of the problem and the appropriate ways to tackle it with epidemiological monitoring and the epidemiological investigation for those infected and blended with them. In addition to presenting infection transmission prevention programs between mothers and children and blood transfusion safety services and AIDS infection prevention programs for those who work on presenting the service in the medical institutions.
As far as awareness field is concerned, however, in regards of awareness, Dr. Filemban pointed out that the program undertakes to present counseling and voluntary service to help reduce risks, detect the cases and use the therapeutic and preventive service. Curative services through specialized centers in treating those infected with AIDS which have the latest medicines, medical examinations and preventive services in addition to psychological support services and social care through cooperation with the voluntary institution and organizations.
Moreover, The Ministry provides curative services accompanied by preventive and tutorial guide involves not transmitting the infection between sexual partners; there are tutorial programs and voluntary examinations to help the healthy individuals and those infected with sexually transmitted diseases; and also those who practice behavior related to transmission of AIDS infection. Also those who have concerns for other specific reasons related infection transmission methods for them such as participation in taking drugs through injection or any other contaminated sharp tools such as razors among others.
Furthermore, she added that the Saudi initiative to combat AIDS would participate with the ministries of health and other concerned ministries, such as the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Ministry of Education and the General Presidency of Youth Welfare in combating AIDS and identifying the priorities in controlling it. This is by conducting field researches in the GCC countries, identifying the most vulnerable category and knowing the nature and factors of HIV transmission, in addition to supporting programs that to prevent passing the infection from a mother to a fetus, programs of voluntary counseling and testing, as well as early detection of sexually transmitted diseases, in addition to prevention programs for children and youth. Moreover, a unified strategy will be developed; representing all the GCC countries and the partners within each country as well as with regional and international organizations, where they will coordinate and exchange experiences and information in the preventive and curative aspects.

Last Update : 30 July 2011 05:07 PM
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