BRAZZAVILLE, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- The executive director of the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Michel Sidibe, on Wednesday hailed the efforts of the Republic of Congo government in the fight against HIV/AIDS in general, and particularly in the reduction of transmission from mother to child.
"The Republic of Congo is one of the African countries that have demonstrated that we can control this infection and that we can significantly reduce the number of new infections. It's one of the countries that have reduced the rate of new infections by 22 percent and we believe that by 2015, we shall have between 2 to 3 percent infections by maximum, something which will be an enormous progress," he said after a meeting with the Congolese Health Minister Francois Ibovi.
"In this regard, we want to see the Republic of Congo becoming the first country to announce that there's no child who is born with AIDS. Today, only 5 children are born everyday with AIDS, but I believe that Congo is able to ensure that there's an AIDS free generation and we shall support the government's efforts in this regard," Sidibe said.
He said that his institution will work with the foundation of Congo's First Lady Antoinette Sassou Nguesso which is engaged in the fight against AIDS in the country.
He also urged the government to ensure proper coordination in the management of the stocks of drugs to ensure that the distribution of the same can go on without any disruptions.
Sidibe who is on a visit to the Republic of Congo, is expected to meet on Thursday with the country's president Denis Sassou Nguesso and civil society organizations
Official statistics released last year showed that in the Republic of Congo, 83,000 people live with HIV/AIDS and 44 percent of them benefit from the anti-retroviral treatment (ARV). 7,900 new cases of HIV are reported each year and in 2011, 4,600 people died from AIDS.