About 250 attendees representing a dozen African nations and the U.S. gathered in Nashville Nov. 2-4 to discuss the AIDS pandemic in Africa and possible long-term solutions.
Conference attendees included U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D.; former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young; Ronald Dellums, a former California congressman; and Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar. PanAfrica, a not-for-profit, Nashville-based organization that establishes relations between American and African countries, organized the conference.
"This is one of the first conferences to deal with the infrastructure issues that accompany AIDS from a public-private perspective," says Dellums, a Democrat who represented the Oakland, Calif., area from 1970 to 1998. He is now president of for-profit Atlanta-based Healthcare International Management Co.
"It's a mistake to see AIDS as just a health issue," Dellums says. "Fundamental issues need to be addressed, such as determining how to engage in a care and treatment effort where there is no healthcare delivery system, no hospitals, clinics or safe roads."