African First Ladies meeting in Accra inconclusive

Accra- Ghana (PANA) -- The Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS has scheduled an extraordinary meeting either for Mali or Ethiopia on yet-to-be decided date following inconclusive deliberations of its fifth Annual General Meeting in Accra on Monday.
The meeting, a sideline of the AU Summit in Accra, became inconclusive for time constraints, but Zambia's first lady and President of the Organisation, Maureen Mwanawasa told journalists that it was successful and members renewed the commitment to the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
She said the meeting also examined administrative issues.
The meeting was satisfied with the "Treat Every Child As Your Own" Inititiave, and discussed the "Save the Unborn Child First Ladies Campaign" selected as the main focus of the organisation's activities in the coming year.
Theresa Kufuor, Ghana's first lady, who earlier opened the meeting, noted with concern that despite the pandemic being the fourth leading cause of death globally, many people rather still did not believe they are at risk.
She said stigma and discrimination against people living with Aids further discourage many from taking Aids tests and disclosing their status to their partners.
She observed that women have a heightened risk of infection due to rampant conflict situations and emergencies as well as social, political and sexual insubordination.
Mrs Kufuor said the absence of equalness of women and girls access to health and HIV related services increase infection among young people particularly, accounting for 40 per cent of all new infections in 2006 among persons who are 15 years or older.
She recalled that the establishment of the Organisation is to initiate the development of the appropriate strategies for HIV/AIDS prevention, and to advocate for effective strategies for treatment and care for people living with Aids.
She called on the ladies to be more conscious of the negative impact of the pandemic on their people and increase their willingness and desire to make a difference in their lives.
Ghana Aids Commission Director General Sakyi Awuku Amoah, said Ghana has currently a prevalence rate of 2.
2 percent and its ability to reduce that remained on factors as the extent of knowledge of the disease, the development partners' willingness to contribute to funding of the national response and the ability of the Commission to generate funds locally to support the national response to ensure long term sustainability.
Turai Yar'Adua, the first of Nigeria was admitted as the newest entrant into the 40 member organisation.

03 july 2007 11:38:00




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