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Sep 18, 2015

First Lady Pledges To Improve Upon The Gains Of OAFLA

The President of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA), Mrs Lordina Mahama, has pledged to work very hard to improve upon the gains of OAFLA and achieve more under her tenure.

Mrs Mahama emphasised that she will mobilise her colleague First Ladies to advocate relentlessly on priority areas including the allocation of adequate resources to improve their national responses to various challenges.

“As First Ladies of Africa, we have agreed to a United Continental Adolescents ‘ALL-IN’ Campaign to reverse the negative trends in HIV among those aged 10 to 19 years,” she said.

She was speaking at a dinner hosted in honour of Mrs Rosemary Musemilani, representative of UNAIDS for the African Union, who was on a two-day working visit to Ghana, at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra.

According to her, the First Ladies have achieved their agreed objectives through advocacy, social interventions and resource mobilisation.

She added that the goals and objectives of OAFLA have expanded beyond preventing, managing and eliminating HIV and AIDS.

She said today, OAFLA also contributes to national efforts in accelerating the reduction of maternal, neonatal and child mortality, controlling cervical cancer and empowering women and children to enjoy equal opportunities.

Mrs Mahama said with this rich experience, the First Ladies of Africa have supported the substantial progress made in their respective countries on various Millennium Development Goals, especially MDGs 4, 5 and 6.

Going into specifics, she mentioned that massive results have been achieved from the Global Plan to Eliminate New HIV Infections among Children by 2015 while keeping their mothers alive.

They have also accelerated action on maternal, neonatal and child health” and have successfully launched a “Campaign to End Child Marriages in Africa”, among others.

“As First Ladies of Africa, we have agreed to a United Continental Adolescents ‘ALL-IN’ Campaign to reverse the negative trends in HIV among those aged 10 to 19 years. Any child born HIV positive must be diagnosed early and assured of access to quality, comprehensive anti-retroviral treatment and care”, she said.

The OAFLA President announced that more recently the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Global Fund have committed technical and financial support to OAFLA.

She said this is the time Africa needs her friends and partners the most to join them in bringing comprehensive prevention, care and support to those who need it the most.

“As you are already aware, OAFLA was formed in 2002 in Geneva, with the support of the UNAIDS when thirty seven (37) First Ladies from Africa signed a Framework of Action to combat HIV and AIDS on the Continent.

“A lot has been achieved since then with the support of our Governments and partners.

Today, I proudly state that OAFLA is a strong organization of African First Ladies; Mothers who have decided to join forces and become a voice for the weak and voiceless; Women who are committed to improve and use their capacities to improve the lives of the disadvantaged; especially women and children, “ Mrs Mahama said.

“As First Ladies, we achieve our agreed objectives through advocacy, social interventions and resource mobilisation,” she added.

She stated that the issues of HIV, cervical and breast cancers are major public health challenges that Africa has to overcome.

For her part, Mrs Rosemary Musemilani, assured Mrs Mahama of UNAIDS support for all her work as OAFLA president.

She urged the OAFLA President to expand the horizon of the organisation and bring all First Ladies who are dormant on board as only a few of them were active now.

Earlier in the day, the Mrs. Mahama met the visiting Joint UNAIDS and OAFLA teams to discuss the priority areas that she would be focusing on during her two-year tenure as OALFA President.

Present at the discussion were Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Women, Gender and Social Protection, Dr. Angela El-Adas, Director General of the Ghana Aids Commission and staff of the Commission, Joint UNAIDS visiting team, Mr. Haile Girmay, UNAIDS Country Director and Ms. Rika Sonia Ndibira, the Executive Secretary of OAFLA.