Kibaki Forms HIV/Aids Cabinet Team
East African Standard (Nairobi)
March 24, 2003
Posted to the web March 24, 2003
The fight against HIV/Aids scaled new
heights yesterday when President Mwai Kibaki announced the
formation of a Cabinet committee to be chaired by himself.
The President said the committee would
ensure co-ordination in Government and is to be established
soon. He did not give details of its membership or specific
At the same time, the Head of State said
the National Aids Control Council (Nacc) must be re-energised
by involving all the ministries at the highest level "to
oversee the programmes under my leadership".
President Kibaki also said the Council
should be facilitated to mobilise resources to be channelled
directly to those in need.
The President's orders were apparently
prompted by concerns raised by Kenyans and development
partners that most of the assistance aimed at those directly
affected does not reach them and only a little trickles down
The President was speaking at State
House Gardens, Nairobi when he launched the "War Against
HIV/Aids" in which religious leaders and faiths heads
committed themselves to fight the scourge with more vigour and
"Ladies and gentlemen, the
complexity of the Aids pandemic is enormous. It causes serious
social dislocation, affects all aspects of society, lowers
production in all sectors and impoverishes our communities.
"We cannot afford to sit back as
the pandemic ravages our nation. We must mobilise our people
and make them play their rightful roles in strategies and
interventions aimed at reducing HIV/Aids infections,"
There is need to ensure, the President
said, that programmes introduced to combat the scourge are
demand-driven "so that the resources go directly to the
needy for education, drugs, counselling and agreed pragmatic
He said the Government would assist the
religious sector with resources so that "from your
vantage point and as an additional vehicle, you can assist the
Government to win this war".
It was crucial, he asserted, that those
affected are not left to feel lonely or isolated but
"should feel that their families, neighbours, communities
and the whole country cares for them".
President Kibaki told the gathering it
was no use improving the welfare of Kenyans, yet so many of
them were dying daily from the disease.
"At least three people die every
three minutes from the pandemic, We must eradicate this
disease. This is an enormous number and those who die are the
vigorous ones!" he said.
The Head of State urged communities to
desist from stigmatising the affected, saying awareness needed
to be stepped up and a sense of caring inculcated among