Dr. Diane Gashumba
Minister of Health, Rwanda / ICASA 2019 Vice President
Ladies and Gentlemen I greet you and welcome to Rwanda,
The Ministry of Health is pleased that Rwanda was chosen to host ICASA 2019 Conference.
The Government of Rwanda apprehends the challenges linked to AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections and the rising risk involved. Rwanda has made a firm commitment to stabilize HIV at a prevalence of 3 percent (4) as a result of a strong national response to control the spread and to diagnose and treat affected individuals.
However, underneath these statistics there are a number of susceptible groups that face a high burden of the disease and who are vulnerable to the transmission of the epidemic. It has become clear that in order to sustain the gains of the last few years, and to continue making improvement in a cost-effective manner, there is a need to further focus our attention on the needs of these people.
HIV and STDs are an urgent public health challenge shared by the world. Hence, I take this opportunity to call upon all Governments and International Organizations to collaborate and focus on developing strategic measures to reduce morbidity and mortality rates caused by these
I have no doubt that ICASA 2019 Conference will identify gaps and develop best practices which draw on existing national and international approaches to HIV prevention and management.
In addition, we are optimistic that this conference will be action-oriented by building on prevailing investments - including ongoing research, subsidizing medicines and products for patients.
I commend you for having exciting and memorable events filled with enlightening interactive sessions and I wish you a fruitful conference that will strengthen collaboration and information sharing, translate research and advocacy into strategies that will help make a difference in the lives of people living with HIV.
Dr. Diane Gashumba
Minister of Health