By Wallace Mawire
Rwanda is set to host the 20th edition of International Conference on
AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) according to the organisers.
The Society for AIDS in Africa was established in Kinshasa in October
1990 during the 5th International Conference on AIDS and Associated
Cancers in Africa, a precursor to the International Conference on AIDS
and STIs in Africa (ICASA).
It is reported that the formation of the Society for AIDS in Africa,
was facilitated by the (W.H.O) to encourage the African continent to
host international conferences on HIV/AIDS, a disease whose scourge
has hardest hit the continent.
It is reported that the move
encourages and empowers Africans to directly address and respond to the
challenges posed by the HIV and AIDS pandemic on the continent.
The Society envisions an HIV free Africa with capacity to confront all
related consequences and diseases. The Society enables a positive
environment for research on HIV and related diseases. The Society for
AIDS in AFRICA (SAA) is governed by an Executive Council drawn from
South, North, East, West and Central Africa. SAA collaborates with
AFRICASO, SAFAIDS, SWAA, NAP+, and Network of Youth in Africa and enjoy
the support of the UN- System, as well as various International
organizations, including the International AIDS Society (IAS)
Since its inception, SAA has successfully organized 19 International
Conferences on HIV /AIDS and STIs in 14 Africa countries.
The 2017 International Conference on AIDS STIs was held in Abidjan –
Cote d’Ivoire, under the theme “Africa: Ending AIDS – Delivering
differently”. Over 6000 delegates from Africa and other regions of the
world convened in Cote d’Ivoire.
On 6th December, 2017, in Abidjan, during ICASA 2017 the Sofitel Hotel
Ivoire, the Minister of Health of Rwanda in the presence of ICASA 2017
President and the ICASA Director and other Executive Board Members, won the bid
to host the 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs which was
conferred to Rwanda. Rwanda’s selection was a result of a rigorous
evaluation of 3 countries to host ICASA 2019.
With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Minister of
Health and SAA with the strong support of the Rwandan Government, Dr.
Ihab Ahmed, SAA President, officially declared Rwanda as the next host
country of the 20th edition of ICASA, ICASA 2019.
“We are conscious of the momentous task ahead as the host country prepare
for ICASA. We are optimistic that the Government of Rwanda with the good
people of this country through ICASA 2019, will further motivate all
African countries Governments, the International community to devote
more attention, and commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS and other
health related issues in Africa with the aims to end AIDS by 2030,”
the Rwanda health minister said.
It is added that they were appealing to all to closely follow the
of ICASA 2019 and to lend support to Rwanda, so that ICASA 2019
reflects lessons learnt that will further the new direction of the SDG
strategies to move Africa towards stronger Health systems, and the
elimination of HIV, TB and Malaria.