Primates Across Nigeria Begins Talks on HIV/AIDS

( [email protected] ) Nov 13, 2003 10:26 AM EST

Nigeria -- The Anglican Primates from the 81 dioceses in Nigeria gathered for the nationwide workshop on HIV/AIDS strategic planning, Nov. 10. The four-day consultation opened with an emphasis on the role of the church and the individual in changing moral behavior as the means to eradicating the deadly epidemic.

"Brothers and sisters, if we do what God says in His word - turn from our wicked ways - we can change the tide around HIV/AIDS and stop new infections," said Archbishop Akinola.

Akinola, the chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, challenged the participants to come up with clear policies and actions for the church to address the HIV/AIDS issue. Once a sound system is established, said Akinola, the national office will continue to actively support the AIDS initiatives throughout the 17 million-member Communion.

Akinola also encouraged interdenominational efforts alongside interventions from governmental and non-governmental originations already involved in the work.

"Our aim must not be to go solo by putting undue pressure on scanty resources trying to do what others can do very well," he said as he concluded his speech.

CAPA HIV/AIDS Co-ordinator, Mrs Nema Aluku, complimented the Provinces in Africa that were already sharing and replicating best practices currently available. According to Aluku, five of the 12 African provinces have already conducted strategic planning. Kenya, Tanzania, Southern Africa, Indian Ocean and Uganda have all implemented various activities to halt the growth of the pandemic. Nigeria, Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, West and Central Africa and the Diocese of Egypt are at various stages of planning and implementation.

The consultation, slated to last till Friday, is sponsored by a grant from the Anglican Consultative Council, the Compass Rose Society, Action Aid, Christian Aid and Policy Project.