First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe has reiterated its commitment to end AIDS as well as achieve an HIV/AIDS free generation by 2030.

This was said by the First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa when she addressed the 20th Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS, (OAFLA) Ordinary General Assembly held at the old African Union buildings in Addis Ababa.

Amai Mnangagwa made her inaugural appearance at OAFLA held on the sidelines of the 30th African Union heads of state summit. 

In her remarks, Amai Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe has scaled up prevention of mother-to-child transmission programmes (PMTCT) and produced impressive results which saw the rate of HIV transmission declining from 21 percent in 2010 to 5 and a half percent in 2016.

Zimbabwe launched the national plan to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV during commemorations to mark World AIDS Day last year.

The First Lady pledged to champion the fight to end AIDS by going to the remote and disadvantaged areas and through mobilisation of critical stakeholders like traditional chiefs and church leaders to assist in bringing awareness to communities on child marriages and child abuse.

The First Lady says Zimbabwe has an estimated 1.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS and about 90 000 of them are children under the age of 15.

Amai Mnangagwa told the assembly that Zimbabwe is on track to achieving an HIV/AIDS free generation and acknowledged the support that the country continues to receive from cooperating partners like the Global Fund, Pepfar, European Union and UNAIDS among others.

Keeping in line with OAFLA focus on maternal and child health, discussions during the session focused on how countries can further reduce new HIV infections among children, and ensuring that all children, their mothers and pregnant women living with HIV have access to antiretroviral therapy. 

Other First Ladies from African countries among them Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo Brazzaville, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone and South Africa gave testimonies of how they are using their positions as First Ladies to advocate for people in their respective countries to have access to adequate HIV/AIDS services.

The First Ladies of Africa also pledged to mobilise resources for advocacy to support women and children living with and affected by HIV.

The Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation founded in 2002 by 37 African First Ladies.

The First Lady of Ethiopia, Madam Roman Tesfaye is the current president of OAFLA until 2019.

She was elected at the 19th OAFLA general assembly held in Addis Ababa, on July 04, 2017.

She was elected from among the newly elected steering committee which comprises of First Ladies of Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Burkina Faso and Ghana.