Africa’s First Ladies and China commit to AIDS-free target

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Africa’s First Ladies and China have committed to working towards attaining the global objective of an AIDS-free generation.

‘We will work together, hand-in-hand, to end AIDS and secure a healthy, prosperous and beautiful future together,’ Ghana’s First Lady, Lordina Mahama, stated at a China-Africa Roundtable on HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

The event, aimed at securing an HIV-Free Generation was organised on the sidelines of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). It was attended by delegates from the World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS, and First Ladies from 10 African countries.

Mrs. Mahama, who is the President of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against AIDS (OAFLA), said there has been a 43% reduction in new HIV infections among children and a 29% decrease in the number of AIDS-related deaths among women of reproductive age.

According to her, access to medicine by HIV-positive pregnant women has more than doubled from 33% in 2009 to the current 68%.

African First Ladies, who have over the last 12 years made tremendous contribution towards ending AIDS, Mrs. Mahama noted, will continue to work beyond the quest to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV towards securing comprehensive treatment and care for all HIV-positive children.

She thanked the Chinese Government for the partnership with OAFLA, WHO, and UNAIDS.

‘This event, represents what I believe will be a strong and fruitful partnership between Africa and the People’s Republic of China, towards achieving an AIDS-free generation’, she stated.

Mrs. Mahama reiterated her World AIDS Day declaration that the world must work to, ‘end AIDS among children to ultimately achieve that AIDS-free generation we all desire’.

The Chinese First Lady, Peng Liyuan, pledged China’s support to help address HIV/AIDS in Africa, emphasising that, ‘as long as the international community works together we will be able to realise an AIDS-free world’.

China will support OAFLA in its campaign to achieve an AIDS-free generation by sharing information, helping build expertise, and provide resources for advocacy to support women and children living with and affected by HIV.

Mrs. Tobeka Madiba Zuma, First Lady of South Africa urged her colleagues to continue to lead the advocacy with the citizenry especially the youth, to ensure that everyone takes responsibility for their health and have access to adequate services.

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