Kenya to hold first national Catholic conference on HIV/AIDS


Kenya’s first-ever national Catholic conference on HIV/AIDS is scheduled for June 24-28 in Nairobi.

Archbishop John Njue, chairman of the Kenya Episcopal Conference, told journalists the five-day conference would gather all of Kenya's Catholic health practitioners and stakeholders in the AIDS fight to share ideas, reported the Catholic Information Service for Africa.

The Kenya Catholic AIDS Taskforce will also launch the National Catholic AIDS Policy at the conference. The policy, titled "This We Teach and Do," was prepared for the Kenyan Episcopal Conference’s Commission for Health last August.

"While the way forward has not been very clear, the Church has never hesitated to provide service and leadership even in difficult areas and despite limited resources,” Archbishop Njue said.

“The policy will be of particular use to those who have to deal with challenging situations everyday, whether the challenge is moral, spiritual, psychological, or material, for the faces of HIV/AIDS are many and everyone is called to action," he continued.

Fr. Michale Czerny, SJ, the taskforce convener and director of the African Jesuit AIDS Network, said the conference is coming exactly 20 years after the Kenyan bishops raised the alarm on HIV/AIDS.

"Since then many Christians and other believers and people of goodwill have been responding to the pandemic with creative energy, courageous generosity and often pathetically inadequate resources," he said.

The Catholic Church in Kenya has 430 facilities offering care to more than five million HIV/AIDS-infected people annually, with more than 114 projects for orphans of AIDS and vulnerable children.

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