2008. 5 p.
Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS, 5 (4), 196-200
National AIDS councils (NACs) were established in many African countries to co-ordinate the multi-sectoral response to HIV/ AIDS. Their main mandate is to provide strategic leadership and co-ordinate activities geared to fight against HIV/AIDS. This study sought to understand the extent to which NACs have achieved their goals and the challenges they face. Best practices were identified and shared among countries involved, so as to enhance their efforts. This review is crucial given that the fight against HIV/AIDS is far from being won. Data for this study were collected from five countries: Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Lesotho. A qualitative study approach was employed by conducting individual in-depth interviews with senior staff members of NACs. We also collected important NAC documents that are used in achieving their mandates. The NAC documentation seemed to be in order in all countries visited, and there was a good understanding of the NACs’ mandate and their functioning. There were numerous constraints and challenges that need to be addressed in order to make NACs perform their activities better. NACs need to operate independently of the usual government bureaucracy. Additional work is still needed by governments in making NACs responsible for the multi-sectoral response in sub-Saharan Africa.
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