Health experts from East African region are set to meet in the western Kenyan lakeside city of Kisumu on Tuesday to discuss mainstreaming HIV and AIDS issues within regional transport policies and planning.
The East African Community (EAC) said on Monday that the May 19- 22 regional cross-border transport corridor HIV and Aids Multisectoral stakeholders meeting is expected to bring together over 100 key stakeholders both at the national and regional levels.
The statement said the experts and officials are expected from the National Aids Commissions, relevant ministries responsible for Transport, Trade, Health, Harbours, Immigration, Roads, Gender, Youth and Children from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.
"Each EAC Partner State is expected to send a total of seven technical experts from each of the above mentioned ministries and institutions to attend the four day meeting," the statement said.
Other regional and international collaborating Partners such as Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization, USAID, GLIA, IOM, PMAESA, NCTTCA, ECSA will attend the meeting.
The meeting, which is to be officially opened by the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sector, Jean Claude Nsengiyumva, will also be attended by delegates from the EAC Regional Inter-Parliamentary Forum on Health, Population and Development, which is constituted by members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and the EAC Partner States' National Parliamentary Committees responsible for Health and Social Affairs, including HIV and AIDS.
The aim of the meeting and field visits is to promote better regional coordination and quality of HIV services provided to Most at Risk Populations (MARPs) by bringing together national and regional level actors working along the major land, sea, ocean transport corridors and in-land waterways in the East African Community Partner States.
The meeting will also provide an update on HIV and AIDS Modes of Transmissions (MOT) studies conducted along the various regional cross-border transport corridors in the EAC Partner States in the recent past; identify regional HIV and AIDS prevention, care, treatment and support intervention strategies that are suitable for communities situated on transit corridors and hubs and those operating within the water transport corridors.
"It will identify the scope for the transport sector to work in partnership with various implementing partners and local communities to mitigate impact of HIV and AIDS along the northern road transport corridor (Mombasa-Malaba-Katuna Corridor) and those operating within the regional water transport corridors and ports within the Lake Victoria Basin region," it said.