Mbabane: Leading by example in the African continent and the world, Eswatini has exceeded global set targets for eradicating the HIV/Aids pandemic by 2030.
This was disclosed by the Honorable prime minister in a virtual address of the launch of the 2020 UNAIDS Global Report.
Delivering his address the Prime Minister said “Eswatini has well surpassed the Global target of 90-90-90. In fact, we have achieved 95-95-95”. This means that 95% of people living with HIV in the Kingdom know their status, 95% of all people who know their status are accessing HIV treatment and of the people on treatment 95% have achieved viral suppression.
Dlamini added that Eswatini has also drastically reduced AIDS-related deaths by 50% from 6600 in 2010 to 2300 in 2019 and reduced new HIV infections by 50% from 13000 in 2010 to 6500 in 2019.
This is also contained in the 2020 UNAIDS Global Report.
Dlamini noted that the UNAIDS report shows that Eswatini in on course to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. He said the success of the country was a result of the extraordinary and innovative efforts taken by the Eswatini over the years.
The report according to the prime minister come at a time when Eswatini was confronting two pandemics which have shaped modern life.
“The AIDS pandemic changed the world in many ways 40 years ago. Today the COVID-19 pandemic is changing society and the way we relate to each other. However, much as the world’s attention is rightly focused on COVID-19, we must not forget the AIDS response. There is much to do, and it must be done. We can and will end the AIDS epidemic”, he said.
Dlamini said as a country we cannot rest on our successes. “We must ensure that no one is left behind. We must close the gaps. We are aiming for 100-100-100”. He highlighted that the Kingdom once lived through a wave of increasing new HIV infections and many people dying from AIDS.
However Eswatini have been able to mobilize and reach young men who have played a significant role in breaking the cycle of new HIV infections. The country has introduced innovations, redesigned approaches to ensure that services are channeled in the right places. Our communities have taken the lead and they have helped to shape our response.
All these have been made possible through the support from partners such as PEPFAR, Global Fund, UNAIDS and other development and bilateral partners. It is important that the AIDS response drive continues with the principle of Global Solidarity and Shared Responsibility.
Dlamini then urged everyone to work towards eradicating inequality. He said everyone has a right to health, with dignity and respect and we have a collective responsibility to make it happen.