UNDP concludes leadership and media workshops on HIV and AIDS in the Gaza Strip

11 Jun 2012

Gaza Strip – 40 journalists and 60 representative  from the national HIV and AIDS committee, UN agencies, civil society and government institutions completed a three-day workshop on strengthening the response to HIV and AIDS in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The workshop aimed at providing broad areas of training to strengthen the role of UN organizations and partners, from local and national institutions, in response to HIV and AIDS in the occupied Palestinian territory. The workshop also developed the participants’ leadership skills in order to reduce the stigma and convey accurate messages and facts on HIV and AIDS. The workshop was organized by UNDP through the Global Fund to fight HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and facilitated by experts from Egypt.

During the workshop, Dr Majdi Thhair, Director of Preventive Medicine in the Ministry of Health, thanked the Global Fund Programme for organizing the workshop and funding the training of two doctors from the Gaza Strip in HIV and AIDS medical treatment and psychological support.

Mr Mahmoud Daher, Head of WHO office in the Gaza Strip, noted the important role UN organizations play through the Global Fund Programme in the areas of prevention and treatment in order to maintain a low prevalence rate.

The workshop also included a live statement by a woman living with HIV and AIDS in the Gaza Strip. She explained how the virus was transmitted to her through her husband. “I went to see the doctor after I found out because I was scared for my baby girl as I was still breast feeding. I was so relieved when they told me that she is not a carrier” she said.

“My husband died four months after discovering the virus. I became the mother and father of nine children. It is time now for our society to treat people living with AIDS like any person who has the right to live, work, learn and receive treatment when being sick” she added. “Without the active participation of all members of the society, be them private and government we will not be able to prevent discrimination, new infections and mortality associated with HIV and AIDS” said Basil Nasser, UNDP Programme Coordinator. “Achieving the sixth Millennium Development Goal of stopping the spread of HIV and AIDS requires strong will and a concrete approach, based on the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS” he added.

According to the Ministry of Health, the cumulative number of patients with HIV or AIDS since 1987 reached 72 cases in the occupied Palestinian territory. There are 29 cases in the Gaza Strip, eight of whom are still alive and receiving treatment and support from the UNDP Global Fund programme.

Contact Information

Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel: +972-2-6268229 – email: dania.darwish@undp.org, in Gaza Hashim Al Husseini, Communications Assistant, Tel: 00972-59-2776565, email: hashim.elhusseini@undp.org