HIV In Africa Swaziland monarch vows to eradicate HIV/AIDS by 2022

King of Swaziland, Mswati III has told Swaziland parliament that he would personally see to it that the province is HIV/AIDS free by 2022

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play The Swaziland monarch has vowed to tackle HIV/AIDS(Telegraph UK)
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King of Swaziland, Mswati III has vowed to rid Swaziland of HIV/AIDS by 2022.

Mswati III who is Africa's last monarch told parliament that he would "personally see to it" that "first world Swaziland is HIV/AIDS free", Telegraph UK reports.

Aides later explained that the king was tying his latest plan to an earlier pledge to make Swaziland a First World nation by 2022.

The king also called for the stigmatism surrounding the killer diseases to end, and appealed to those who suffered from them to seek help and treatment.

Swaziland currently has the world's highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS, with 26.5% of 15 to 49 year-olds suffering, rising to 40% among 16 to 24 year-olds. It's also ranked among the poorest countries in the world, with 63% of its inhabitants living below the poverty line of less than US$1.25 per day.

In spite of these challenges, the king leads a lavish lifestyle and has at least 15 wives. To this end, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has repeatedly called on the king to cut expenditure on the royal household and increase social spending.

Despite the apparent obstacles, the king's 2022 pledge was reportedly met with applause in parliament. Opposition groups were however less enthusiastic as the Communist Party of Swaziland pointing out that with no single African country classified as "high income" by the World Bank, his First World promise looked "both ridiculous and cruel".

"Mswati either thinks that none of our people who have HIV-Aids will be alive after seven years, or that there will be a universal cure by that date and so everyone will be fine. His asinine remarks on ending the pandemic in seven years comically unmask a hard reality that we are still very far from beating." the CPS said in a statement.

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