First ladies launched new campaign “Free To Shine” to optimize their commitment to fight against AIDS

Addis Ababa 29th January 2018: First ladies assembled for the 20th ordinary general assembly of the Organization of the African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA).The general assembly was conducted at the African Union Head Quarter during the 30th AU summit on 29th January 2018 with theme” Transforming Africa through prioritizing children, adolescents and mothers in the fight against HIV”.

Dr Moeti Matshidiso, Regional Director for WHO Africa Region congratulated the First Ladies and the African Union Commission for this excellent initiative to complement ongoing efforts towards elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis on the continent. She also added that “WHO is committed to providing support for the overall monitoring and evaluation of the campaign, and sharing the trends of progress achieved and revealed that WHO’s 47 country offices will be part of this campaign. ”

Dr Moeti also highlighted that countries’ HIV responses are advancing towards universal health coverage and thereby making important contributions to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. In preparation for this campaign, WHO has availed HIV and PMTCT country profiles to highlight each country's epidemiological status, progress made, key challenges and actions needed to address these issues.

Dr Moeti also had high level bilateral meetings with the First Lady of Ethiopia, who is currently chairing the OAFLA and with Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the former president of Tanzania and discussed on partnership and collaboration to advocate for greater engagement.

During her two days working visit to Ethiopia, Dr Moeti was also interviewed by international and local media including Aljazeera, Herald newspaper and ENN local TV.

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