Feature story

Sierra Leone wins MDG Award for AIDS response

23 September 2010

Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister Zainab Hawa Bangura at the 2010 MDG Award Ceremony, 19 September 2010.

At a ceremony on the eve of the 2010 Millennium Development Goals Summit, held in New York from 20-22 September, the Government of Sierra Leone was presented with an MDG Award for its leadership and progress towards achieving MDG 6, to stop and reverse the spread of HIV by 2015.

The MDG Awards Committee was impressed by Sierra Leone's efforts in developing an innovative and comprehensive national HIV strategy and, in particular, the high-level political commitment and involvement of Sierra Leone’s President, H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma, who chairs the country’s National AIDS Council (NAC).

Under the leadership of the NAC, the technical coordination of the National AIDS Secretariat and the engagement of multi-sector partners, Sierra Leone’s HIV prevalence has stabilized, as highlighted in UNAIDS’ special publication for the MDG Summit, MDG 6.

Partners credit a national commitment towards advancing the greater involvement of people living with HIV in the response and the scale up of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services as key contributors to Sierra Leone’s progress on MDG 6.

“In a post-conflict country with a host of development challenges, the MDG Award is evidence of dedicated national leadership and true partnership,” said UNAIDS Country Coordinator, Mulunesh Tennagashaw. “The Award is an inspiration for all partners, and it will help drive us towards reaching greater results.”

With the development of a new National Strategic Plan on AIDS, the government has set its sights on zero new HIV infections by 2015.

The MDG Award was presented to Foreign Minister Zainab Hawa Bangura. The Awards are held annually to support and raise awareness of the MDGs by providing a high profile platform to honour and celebrate exemplary efforts by national governments and civil society stakeholders in advancing the achievement of the MDGs.