The African Union Summit ended with a call for the elimination of HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa by 2030.The Heads of State and Government of the African Union noted with satisfaction the progress made in addressing the three diseases which resulted in lives saved, enhanced productivity and improvement of the quality of life on the continent.
At the same time, the African leaders were concerned that, despite the progress made, Africa remains one of the most affected regions in the world in relation to HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The 3 diseases constitute a major threat to national and continental socio-economic development.
The Special Summit held under the theme 'Ownership, Accountability and Sustainability of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Response in Africa: Past, Present and the Future' provided the opportunity to the African leaders to commit to accelerate the implementation of the previous “Abuja Commitments” and to the effective implementation of a number strategies and programmes, including effective and targeted poverty elimination strategies and social protection programmes that integrate HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria for all, and particularly the vulnerable populations. They also requested urgent regional and national strategies to address the challenge of human resources for health.
Through the VCT@WORK Initiative, the ILO will mobilize the world of work in Africa to ensure access to health services and increase the number of people who know their status. VCT@WORK was launched last June by the ILO with support of UNAIDS and aims at reaching 5 million workers with voluntary and confidential HIV counseling and testing by 2015. The initiative will ensure that people who test positive are referred to HIV services for care and support, and treatment if needed.
The ILO will continue to support its constituents in African Member States to strengthen HIV prevention, social protection programmes and employment opportunities, focusing on workers who are most vulnerable in the formal and informal economy. The protection of human rights at work and the implementation of the ILO Recommendation on HIV and AIDS and the World of Work will beat the heart of ILO’s contribution to the response to HIV in Africa.