ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 26 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has pledged to wage a vigorous campaign against the spread of HIV/AIDS and to conquer stigma and discrimination against people living with the disease.
Delivering her maiden speech when she attended the 12th meeting of Organisation of First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) in Addis Ababa, the First Lady expressed desire to use her position and influence in society to champion the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Mrs Kenyatta who was received with applause at the meeting bringing together First Ladies from the entire African Continent said she would lobby for development of policies that engender development of the health sector.
Noting that provision of social and economic support services to persons affected and infected by the disease was critical, Mrs Kenyatta pledged to work closely with all stakeholders to alleviate the suffering of vulnerable groups such as children, women and men from families affected by the disease.
Mrs Kenyatta praised members of OAFLA for their commitment to a great and noble cause in the last ten years adding that she was delighted to join them in the war against the Aids scourge.
During the meeting Chadian First Lady Madame Hinda Déby Itno was elected as the new president of OAFLA to take over the mantle from Namibia’s Madam Penehupifo Pohamba who has led the organization for the last 18months.
Ghanaian First Lady Lordina Dramani Mahama who is joining the organization at the same time with Mrs Kenyatta challenged African Governments, universities and the private sector to pool resources towards collaborative research into possibilities of developing preventive vaccines.
Rwandan First Lady Jeanette Kagame was elected as the Deputy President of the organization.