NYARUGENGE - The First Lady, Mrs Jeannette Kagame yesterday received a leadership award from Global Health Progress Initiative (GHPI) for her dedication towards improving access of healthcare and treatment for Rwandans.
At a colourful ceremony that was held at Kigali Serena Hotel, the award was presented by the Director General of International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, Alicia D. Greenidge.
The award was received on behalf of the First Lady by Health Minister Dr Richard Sezibera.
Greenidge hailed the First Lady for her exemplary role in the fight against HIV/Aids in Africa.
She also commended Rwanda’s tremendous achievements in the health sector adding that a lot would not have been possible without efforts by personalities like the First Lady.
“Madam Kagame is a leader who deserves our honour today. She is a role model and founder of an organisation of African leaders that have helped in the fight against HIV/Aids,” Greenidge said.
She added: “The First Lady is also an outspoken advocate for promoting access to HIV/Aids care and in her early years, she developed a national plan of action for the protection and care of families against HIV through the family package aimed at prevention of mother to child infection,” she added.
While addressing guests at the ceremony, Sezibera passed on Mrs. Kagame’s gratitude about the achievement stating that she was grateful to be among the people committed to improving the lives of others.
“I am honoured to receive this award for my standing leadership in health and I receive it on behalf of all women in Rwanda who have invested their energy and time to improve health of all Rwandans especially that of women and children,” Sezibera said as he read the First Lady’s remarks.
In her notes, Mrs. Kagame also expressed that women and children have continued to bear the burden of epidemics and preventable diseases, adding that it should be everyone’s responsibility to mitigate the deaths of women and children.
“I appeal to women who are more fortunate to make an effort, any effort to contribute to the plight of our under privileged sisters in this regard.
Maternal mortality is still high in developing countries. Therefore I launched the White Ribbon to promote safe motherhood which should not be an option but a devoted policy in all communities,” the Minister noted from the remarks.
In relation to the mother and child health week that begins today, the First Lady expressed optimism that the week will accelerate efforts to promote safe motherhood so that Rwanda attains the fifth millennium development goal of reducing maternal and child deaths by 75 percent by 2015.
Global Health Progress supports efforts to raise awareness and mobilise resources to address health challenges in the developing world by bringing local leaders together with international experts, policy makers, donor governments and the private sector.