Africa: AIDS Updates, 09/01/00

Africa: AIDS Updates, 09/01/00

Africa: AIDS Updates Date distributed (ymd): 000901 Document reposted by APIC

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Region: Continent-Wide Issue Areas: +economy/development+ Summary Contents: This posting contains references to a variety of new reports and links on HIV/AIDS, as well as the announcement of a new Africa-wide network AFREHET (African Network for Family, Reproductive and Environmental Health Research, Education and Training). Another posting today contains (1) a reminder of the on-line discussion on AIDS being hosted by the Economic Commission for Africa, (2) an op-ed piece by APIC/Africa Fund director Salih Booker in the August 28, 2000 edition of the Boston Globe, entitled "Use the Surplus to fight AIDS", and (3) testimony at a post-Durban congressional briefing by Chatinkha Nkhoma.

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Additional new links and reports

(See also the suggested starting points at Regularly updated AIDS news from around the continent, in French as well as English, on the new site of Africa News Service Discussion group on Nigeria and HIV/AIDS Official site of the XIII International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. Includes reports from sessions. International Aids Economics Network includes references to papers at a World Bank / UNAIDS symposium preceding the Durban conference. FAO press release on HIV/AIDS spread in rural areas.


AFREHET Initiative

[excerpts from posting on Afronets (African Networks for Health Research & Development) -]

African Network for Family, Reproductive and Environmental Health Research, Education and Training (AFREHET)


Visiting United States president, Bill Clinton, addressing the joint session of the Nigerian National Assembly on Saturday August 28, 2000, urged Africans to join hands together to confront diseases in the region. According to President Bill Clinton:

To build stronger economies we must confront the diseases that are draining the life out of African cities and villages, especially AIDS, but also TB and malaria. AIDS will reduce the life expectancy in Africa by 20 years. It is destroying families and wiping out economic gains as fast as nations are making them. It is stealing the future of Africa. ...

These and some other highlights in president Bill Clinton's speech stimulated a meeting among the representatives of a cross-section of NGOs in the health and community development sectors present. The following salient issues were noted:

a) Africa's high mortality rates are as result of a combination of factors including un-spaced pregnancies and non-access to adequate family planning and reproductive health services and unhealthy environment.

b) The problems of poverty and underdevelopment are more pronounced in the rural areas, where about 65% of the population reside, therefore, the government and non-governmental sectors should be mobilized to focus their integrated health program more in the rural areas of Africa.

c) There is a critical shortage of safe and sustainable reproductive health services and there is therefore, an urgent need for information, training and technical assistance, including the supply of training manuals, video and other facilities.

d) AIDS/HIV epidemic must be accorded the high priority it deserved in our health programmes.

e) Among children, malaria still remained the number one killer disease in Africa.

f) Networking among African NGOs in the health and community development sectors has been very poor, whereas,

g) some nations (and NGOs) in Africa do not have sufficient re- sources (expertise, experience and finance) to confront and solve their family, reproductive and environmental health problems.

h) Experiences within some nations may usefully contribute to improving family, reproductive and environmental health services in others.

i) There is therefore, an urgent need to encourage partnership among NGOs in health and community development sectors working in different parts of Africa.

After series of consultation and deliberations, the meeting adopted the formation of a network "African Network for Family, Reproductive and Environmental Health Research, Education and Training" (AFREHET).

AFREHET is a network linking non-governmental organizations that works to make family, reproductive and environmental health services safe, available and sustainable in Africa, using participatory approaches in research, education and training. It is non-political, non-religious and not for profit.


The mission of the organization is to make reproductive health services available, safe and sustainable in Africa especially in areas where such facilities are either not available or inadequate and serve as template were experience and expertise can be shared between member NGOs in mutually benefiting partnerships.


a) To support the efforts of African governments in its determination to reduce the rate of population growth.

b) To reduce the incidence of unsafe abortions in Africa and clinic based infections in African communities.

c) To promote strict adherence to medical ethics and informed choice by health care providers in Africa.

d) To make reproductive health services available, safe and sustainable in Africa.

e) To establish health information resource centers in various parts of Africa.

f) To facilitate partnerships where experience and expertise can be shared among local and international NGOs in Africa and other parts of the world to enhance the family, reproductive and environmental health situation in Africa.

g) To build skills for better quality care in Africa.

h) To expand contraceptives services in Africa and promote respect for informed consent procedures and indigenous health knowledge of the people.

i) To improve the environmental Health status of African communities.

ACTIVITIES The major activities of AFREHET includes the followings:

a) Facilitation of national and international exchange of experience and expertise in family, reproductive and environmental health ser vices in Africa.

b) Conducting research to generate base line/current information on the behaviour and the attitudes of the African populace towards family, reproductive and environmental health issues and to design the most effective interventions.

c) Facilitation of relevant training events for members within and outside Africa.

d) Establishment of health information resource centers.

e) Production of a regular newsletter for the purpose of spreading new insights and facts on family, reproductive and environmental health issues to members and the general populace.

f) Formation of partnership with other international organizations having similar objectives.

g) Soliciting for funding from national and international agencies to carry out its activities.


A Director will oversee the activities of AFREHET at the continental level. There will be four sub-regional offices namely: East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa. AFREHET zonal offices will coordinate the countries in the sub-region. Thus, each zone will be structured to make it function effectively. Each Zone will have a Zonal Coordinator. The Director and the Zonal Coordinators will constitutes the Executive Council, which also is the decision making body of the Network.


AFREHET membership is open to any non-governmental organization (local and international) working to improve the family, reproductive and environmental health services in Africa.

To become member of this Network, Please complete the membership registration form below and send to:

Dr. S. Jegede, Secretary, or; or Dr. B. Oluwatosin, Foundation for Endogenous Development and Environmental Sciences (FEDES), University of Ibadan, P. O. Box 9939 Ibadan, Nigeria


Name of Organisation:

Contact person (s):

Contact Address:

Phone: Fax: E-mail address:

Year of Establishment:

Activity / Programme Focus:

Current number of Member:

Area of Coverage (International, National, State/Province, Community.

Please provide specific information as names of state covered. This will facilitate the process of continental coverage of the Network):

What do you expect of the Network:

What can you contribute to the Network:

How did you get to know about AFREHET:

Suggestions/comments on the objectives, activities etc.:


Message-Id: <> From: "APIC" <> Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2000 12:54:13 -0500 Subject: Africa: AIDS Updates

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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