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AIDS WEEKLY. 1994 Oct 3; 14-5.The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Hiroshi Nakajima, in an interview following a two-day visit to Rwanda stressed the need to restore safe blood transfusion services to prevent the spread of AIDS as well as distribution of essential drugs and vaccines. According to WHO, health facilities were looted, while 75% of the more than 5000 health workers fled or were killed since ethnic violence broke out April 6, 1994. Fighting between the majority Hutu-led government and Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front claimed more than 500,000 lives and forced more than two million people to seek refuge in neighboring countries. The WHO will provide training, equipment, and laboratory supplies in order to strengthen epidemiological monitoring of preventable epidemic diseases like cholera, dysentery, acute respiratory infections, meningitis, tuberculosis, and malaria. Of particular concern, was the need to monitor systematically forms of cholera and bacillary dysentery which has the ability to change its resistance to different antibiotics A dysentery epidemic has already claimed thousands of lives in refugee camps in Tanzania, Zaire and Rwanda. War and massive population displacements have dramatically increased transmission of HIV, as HIV prevalence was about 30% in Kigali among women and up to 50% among soldiers. Before the war, HIV infection rates ranged from 20 to 30% among the urban population and less than 10% in rural areas. More than 200,000 persons were already infected with HIV in Rwanda in 1992. The WHO will provide blood transfusion kits to ensure collection, testing and transfusion of blood. It will also train 60 blood transfusion technicians. The WHO will help to supply the management system of the Central Rwandan Pharmaceutical Office and provide essential drugs and vaccines to supplement stocks supplied by international donors. Nakajima appealed to both the international community and Africa to help Rwanda.