Strong local leadership, financial support and health education programmes
are the principal ways to fight HIV and Aids, the Prime Minister told
Jane Garvey in an exclusive interview with BBC Radio Five Live to mark
World Aids Day today (1 December).
Tony Blair has described what is happening in Africa as a "terrible
terrible situation" but preventable.
He has also spoken of his frustration in trying to improve matters
when the solution to the problem of Aids is clear - that solution is,
he said, financial help, together with health and education programmes,
locally led. The right leadership inside the afflicted countries is
the crucial thing.
Mr Blair was speaking to Five Live's Jane Garvey, who is spending
World Aids Day in the township of Umlazi in South Africa broadcasting
from there on 1 and 2 December.
The Prime Minister also claimed that Britain was the world leader when
it came to tackling the problems of Africa by helping resolve debt and
by trebling aid to the continent.
Mr Blair pledged that tackling Africa's problems would, along with
climate change, be the priority during his presidency of the G8.
Mr Blair said he hoped his Commission for Africa initiative would
lead to a halt in the decline in life expectancy in Africa; that it
would help to provide proper measures for dealing with killer diseases;
and that it would help to resolve the conflicts affecting the continent.
Mr Blair said there were African countries which had very bad records
of governance but Africa was "not a continent without hope".
He said that countries such as Ethiopia had, over the past 20 years,
made "significant progress and that there are real success stories"
but now the continent understood that it had to take responsibility
for its own future.
Notes to Editors
The full interview will be played on Five Live's
Drive on 1 December from 4.00pm.