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African Church leaders share concerns on AIDS

Posted on: January 31, 2003 3:19 PM
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Over 35 Anglican Church leaders from across Africa converge in Uganda this week for a crucial workshop on strengthening church leadership for HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

The meeting, which is the first of its kind in bringing together representation from all Anglican Provinces in Africa, is aimed at enhancing the capacity of Church leaders to plan and implement effective HIV/AIDS activities in their churches and communities.

Among the key points of deliberation will be how to remove stigma for HIV positive people, encouraging home based care and reduction of HIV prevalence through behaviour change.

The workshop was officially opened on Monday 27 January by the Prime Minister of Uganda, Professor Apollo Nsibambi, who underscored the critical role of Church leadership in the fight against AIDS.

"We as Governments of Africa urge you, religious leaders, to continue playing your traditional and divine role of caring and providing spiritual support to those infected and affected by AIDS," he said.

He also called on the Church to take a proactive approach in advocating HIV/AIDS preventive measures.

The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Revd Livingstone Mpalanyi-Nkoyoyo, commended the Government of Uganda for working closely with the Anglican Church and other faith-based organisations saying the Church has the benefit of a good grass roots network and a captive audience.

The workshop is organised by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) and has drawn resource people from Africa, America and Europe. All the Anglican Provinces in Africa are represented in the workshop.

Also present are the Chairman of CAPA and Primate of West Africa, Archbishop Robert G A Okine, partners and well-wishers.

The host nation, Uganda, will provide participants with a rich showcase for the progress it has made in addressing stigma, reducing HIV transmissions and promoting family based care.

The workshop will deliberate ways of realising the vision of the Anglican Church in Africa, which is to see future generations born and living in a world free from AIDS.

Article By Justus Waimiri