ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Aug 14 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Friday afternoon to attend the inauguration of the new president of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA).
The plane carrying the First Lady touched down at Bole International Airport shortly before 2pm where she was received by Kenya’s Deputy Ambassador to Ethiopia, Aggrey Shitsama.
During the hand-over ceremony, the First Lady of Ghana, Nana Lordina Mahama will formally assume the OAFLA presidency from its outgoing holder, the First Lady of Chad, Hilda Itno Derby.
The ceremony will be hosted Saturday by the First Lady of Ethiopia, Roman Tesfaye at the OAFLA secretariat.
OAFLA was established in 2002 by 37 African First Ladies as a collective voice of the continent’s most vulnerable people especially women and children.
Today however, the organization has more than 30 African First Ladies who are all active members, each leading their respective national chapters and doing exemplary work in the areas of HIV/AIDS, empowering women and children.
On her part, the First Lady has for the past two years successfully steered the Beyond Zero campaign specifically focusing on the improvement of maternal health and the survival of children across the 47 counties of Kenya.
The Beyond Zero initiative also aims at combating mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS.
The Beyond Zero initiative has so far successfully deployed thirty one mobile clinics in 31 of our 47 counties.
These have become a lifeline for rural mothers who could previously not access medical facilities. They also form a focal point for children’s immunizations and serve as health awareness platforms including testing of various cancers.
In addition to the mobile clinics, the Beyond Zero initiative has also set-up nine static clinics in Kibera, an informal settlement in Nairobi, with the hope of replicating similar facilities in all informal settlements.
With support from donors, sponsors and strategic partners the initiative has also been able to equip the mobile and community clinics with equipment rivalling Level 4 hospitals in Kenya.
This enables the clinics to offer a wide variety of medical services, ranging from laboratory services to light surgery.
The establishment of the OAFLA Permanent Secretariat in Addis Ababa since 2012 has led to a better coordination of its activities within the region and also centralized fund raising and partnership initiatives.