Kenya: major Church conference on HIV/AIDS opens

 A major national HIV/AIDS conference, organized by the Catholic Church for its health workers, drawn from the 26 dioceses, opened in Nairobi yesterday. Over 600 delegates have assembled at Nairobi's Kenya Institute of Education for the four-day conference, which is being organized by the Catholic Church's HIV/AIDS Taskforce. The Church's national conference was officially opened by Bishop Philip Sulumeti, the chairman of the health commission of the Catholic bishops and was witnessed by several Catholic bishops. In his opening remarks, Bishop Philip Sulumeti said he the outcome of the conference would assist the Church to be better placed in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He added that the Church was marking 20 years of involvement in the HIV/AIDS as well as launching its policy on the HIV/AIDS pandemic during the conference. Bishop Sulumeti said: "We need to learn better ways of rolling our programs even faster to all who need our assistance." He pointed out that the Church needed to challenge herself on building its capacities to provide ever more excellent services. The bishop stressed the need for the Church to "rededicate herself to providing services with ever greater compassion". He added that the Church had come along way, but needed to go even further. The needs of orphaned children, he observed, were getting more acute every day and many persons who need ART have yet to be reached. Many pregnant mothers, he added are yet to be availed to the life saving service of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission, PMCT.

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