United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) Executive Director has hailed the appointment of Malawi First Lady Dr. Gertrude Mutharika as President of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA).
Speaking in Addia Ababa Ethipioa during an audience with Madam Mutharika, Michel Sidibe at the Mariot Hotel in Addisababa, Ethiopia said the Malawi First Lady deserved the position considering her tireless participation and commitment in the OAFLA work and her efforts to the national HIV/AIDS response in Malawi.
Particularly Sidibe said Madam Mutharika has demonstrated huge passion and commitment in Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMCT) and adolescents both local and continental level.
“We want you to know that we are behind you. We will give you all the support so that you should be successful. We are very pleased with the work of Malawi,” said Sidibe.
In her remarks, Madam Mutharika hailed UNAIDS for what he termed as effective global leadership in the HIV and AIDS response and intervention.
Madam Mutharika said UNAIDS has been and continues to be a great partner of OAFLA and to the national response to HIV/AIDS in African countries including Malawi.
She pledged to work extra hard as First Lady of Malawi as well encourage fellow First Ladies through OAFLA to work more in their efforts to ensure that the plight of children and adolescents in the HIV fight is addressed.
“We will push and continue to push until we see that by 2030 HIV is eleiminated. I will work with everything I have and I encourage my fellow First Ladies too so that we can make a real difference. I will do this because I know that as First Ladies we have the platform and when we speak we give hope to the people that the political will is there,” she said.
Madam Mutharika was appointed President of OAFLA early this year, replacing Madam Lordina Dlamani Mahama of Ghana who left office following the out of the presidential elections in her country.