SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

U.N. secretary-general appoints former Ugandan VP as HIV/AIDS envoy

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Thursday the appointment of Speciosa Wandira-Kasibwe, the former vice president of Uganda, as his special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Wandira-Kasibwe is currently the senior adviser to the president of Uganda on population and health. She is also a chairperson of the board of directors of the Microfinance Support Center, Ltd.

As special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, Wandira-Kasibwe will aid in the advancement of the AIDS response in Africa by advocating for the proactive involvement and engagement of all sectors of society.

According to the U.N., there were 32 percent fewer AIDS-related deaths on the African continent in 2011 compared to 2005. There were also 33 percent fewer new infections in 2011 compared to 2001.

Africa remains the continent most affected by HIV. Of 34 million people living with HIV in the world, 69 percent of them live in sub-Saharan Africa.

Wandira-Kasibwe played a significant role in the public health agenda and the political landscape in Africa. As a member of Uganda's Constituent Assembly, Wandira-Kasibwe contributed to the drafting of Uganda's 1995 constitution. She is a member of Champions for an HIV-free Generation and is highly committed to the HIV response.

Wandira-Kasibwe will replace Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania. Ban thanked Migiro for her service to the U.N. and her commitment as an advocate for his efforts to end HIV-related discrimination and stigma worldwide.