African Heads of State and Government meeting in the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa have elected Malawi President Joyce Banda to the champion of HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis in the SADC region.
The announcement was made during the AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) session at the African Union Headquarters.
Accepting the position President Banda commended her fellow Heads of State in trusting her with the position saying Malawi supports the full implementation of the African Union Roadmap on shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity for Aids, TB and Malaria response in Africa which calls for diversified financing, Access to affordable and quality assured medicines and enhanced leadership and governance.
Said President Banda: “During the Abuja summits and UN high level meeting on HIV and AIDS we committed to reaching a number of targets. In order to track the progress we have made it is important for us to incorporate indicators for AIDS, TB and Malaria as well as those on Maternal, New born and Child Health in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).”
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, praised President Banda for taking up leadership in shaping the post 2015 agenda on HIV and AIDS response globally.
Said Ban Ki-moon: “ I salute President Banda for her commitment towards proving leadership in the global response towards HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria, her efforts so far even in Malawi are paying dividends.”
Ki-moon added “I would like to commend Malawi for putting half a million people on free ARVS and all HIV positive pregnant women on treatment irrespective of their CD4 count”
The UN boss said President Banda’s acceptance to sit on various HIV and AIDS boards is an indication that President Banda is committed to fighting AIDS.
Meanwhile, Presidential Press Officer Brian Banda told Nyasa Times that UNAIDS has announced that LANCET/UNAIDS commission first meeting will be hosted by President Banda in Malawi from June 28-29, 2013.