President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday charged African leaders to look inwards in their bid to develop local solutions to tackle HIV/AIDs and other infectious diseases on the continent.
The President, who made this known in his address during the opening ceremony of the Abuja+12 African Union (AU) Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Abuja, noted that the diseases have remained the bane of morbidity and mortality in Africa and posing serious obstacles to sustainable socio-economic development.
While noting that the human, societal and financial costs of inadequate action or no action at all will be too grievous to contemplate, Mr. Jonathan said that the time had come for a final and concerted solution to the diseases.
According to him, African leaders must set clear and decisive goals, identify and implement the best adaptable strategies for best and quickest results.
“I strongly advocate that Africa should look inwards in search for solutions. We must begin to de-emphasis reliance on external funding and importation of essential medicines required for our treatment programmes” he said.
“We must stand in solidarity with one another, be proactive to our health challenges and increase inter-continental scientific research partnerships and development efforts to complement the various national and regional plans already underway.”
“Ownership and sustainability should form the basis of our next plan of actions. Our goal should be to find local solutions to our challenges, translate planning into implementation, and develop our continent at the pace we desire,” the president stated
To achieve the objectives he outline, Mr. Jonathan said it would require greater fundings and called for increased synergy between government and other stakeholders in order to reduce duplication of efforts and resource wastage.