FOCAC: First Lady attends key meet on HIV/AIDS prevention, control

First Lady Jeannette Kagame (6th right), Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan (centre); UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibé (left) and WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (right), in a group photo with other African First Ladies in Beijing yesterday. Courtesy.

First Lady Jeannette Kagame, along with her counterparts from Africa, attended a key conference on HIV/AIDS prevention and control themed ‘Join Hands for a Future Free of AIDS.”

The conference, which took place on the sidelines of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation 2018 (FOCAC), sought to reflect on the milestones achieved and to identify and address the remaining gaps in the push towards zero new infections.

Speaking on behalf of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA), the First Lady of Burkina Faso, Sika Bella Kabore, emphasised the fact that, with regard to HIV/AIDs, Africa remains the most affected with an upsurge of the epidemic in Central and West Africa.

She called on her fellow First Ladies to strengthen advocacy in order to ensure the effective mobilisation of resources needed to keep threats on the progress achieved so far at bay. 

Kabore reiterated OAFLA’s commitment to fight HIV and end AIDS by 2030. She called for more support in ensuring access to public health efforts, medical facilities for HIV/AIDS and Cancer prevention treatments adding that such elements need to be included in FOCAC key areas.

Representing the East African Community, Margaret Kenyatta of Kenya called for all stakeholders to leverage available data in order to strengthen universal health coverage, saying that continued exchange of lessons learned is highly needed. 

In this light she applauded OAFLA initiatives, such as the ‘Free to Shine Campaign’ that seeks to end new infections in children and keep mothers alive.

The conference was also graced by the World Health Organisation’s Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

In the afternoon, Mrs Jeannette Kagame was hosted by her China counterpart, First Lady Peng Liyuan, on a guided tour of the National Centre for Performing Arts.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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