, ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Jan 29 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has pledged to step up efforts geared towards curbing HIV and AIDS.
The Kenyan First Lady said as a mother, her hope was to see a generation free of HIV in her lifetime.
Addressing the 20th Ordinary General Assembly of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the First Lady said she will not renege on the personal pledge she made at the 2013 OAFLA General Assembly to join the frontline in the war against HIV/AIDS.
“What motivated me then, and has continued to drive my focus and energy, was the desperate stories of unnecessary deaths of women and children across the country,” the First Lady told the meeting attended by 15 other First Ladies from across the continent.
The First Lady said she has continued to lend her voice to support policy, advocating for increased resource investment for HIV prevention, treatment and care through her Beyond Zero Initiative and as patron of the Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Keeping Mothers Alive Campaign.
She informed the meeting that Kenya intends to accelerate its efforts to achieve a less than five percent mother-to-child transmission rate by 2020, saying she launched a new framework in June last year that calls for strong multi-level leadership, advocacy and resilient programming at all levels.
“The elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis continues to be my focus in the next Beyond Zero Strategic Framework 2018 to 2022,” the First Lady said as she shared a short video of how Beyond Zero has impacted the lives of women, men and children across Kenya.