Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
Saturday, 1 January, 2000, 12:42 GMT
East Africa declares war on Aids

Aids orphans Orphans whose parents have died of Aids are an increasing problem

Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi has made the threat of Aids the keynote of his New Year's address.

He called on Africans to unite in the face of the "deadly epidemic racing across our land".

Calling Aids the biggest human disaster in the region since sleeping sickness left several million people dead at the turn of the last century, President Moi said: "Anything that can be said or done to halt the progress of the disease must be said and done."

Candles Two Kenyan children light New Year candles
Aids has killed at least 760,000 people in Kenya and the HIV virus that can lead to Aids has infected an estimated 1.9m people in a population of 30m.

Unicef says the number of Aids orphans in Kenya will reach 900,000 in 2000 and 13m in all of Africa.

Last November, President Moi reversed his position on the use of condoms, saying he did not oppose their use to stop the spread of Aids.

He had previously voiced strenuous objection to their use.

Before he made his address, President Moi met Roman Catholic leaders and told them God-fearing Christians who practiced abstinence would not need to use condoms.

Condoms, he said, would only be needed by those who could not control themselves.

War on Aids

Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa echoed President Moi's call during his own millennium address.

President Mkapa said the disease had now taken on alarming proportions.

Child Thumbs up: 4-year-old Elizabeth Wanjohi, who is HIV-positive, gives her own New Year message
"We must openly declare the war on this killer disease, mostly caused by promiscuity, let us not feel shy to talk about it and look for means to solve the problem," President Mkapa said in his traditional New Year address to Tanzanians.

He said that at least 2m Tanzanians were estimated to have been infected by HIV, while 600,000 others have developed Aids.

Tanzania's population is currently estimated at 32m.

"We must change our behaviour by leading decent lives and enhance public education on protection. This is likely to reduce new infections," President Mkapa added.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Africa Contents

Country profiles

See also:
01 Dec 99 |  Africa
Aids in Kenya: A social disease
26 Nov 99 |  Africa
Moi: Aids a 'national disaster'

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Africa stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories