AFRICA: AIDS awareness must be part of education systems

African nations must use their education systems to teach children, young people and teachers how to prevent HIV transmission, the World Bank said in a statement.

The statement was released following a meeting held recently among officials with the World Bank, the US Agency for International Development, NGOs and government officials from Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The education sector was "central" to HIV/AIDS prevention, and African countries had to "build capacities to respond, with timely actions, to prevent school-age children and teachers from being infected with HIV", the statement added.

According to the World Bank, there is still a chance to use education to prevent HIV infections among young people who have not yet engaged in sexual activity. HIV/AIDS has hampered education efforts in many African countries, as the disease led to declining student attendance and a growing number of deaths among teachers.