11th OAFLA general assembly held

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11th General Assembly of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) held on Monday in Addis Ababa.
Addressing the Assembly, OAFLA President and Namibian First Lady, Penehupifo Pohamba said the organization has prioritized three areas of intervention to combat the epidemic.
The areas of intervention include effective elimination of new HIV infections, reduction of maternal and child mortality, and efficient communication to revitalize OAFLA membership.
Established in 2009, OAFLA through its network of advocacy has succeeded in creating awareness to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS and bringing women’s issues to the forefront of the continent’s development agendas.
“Today we are a recognized force in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. We are the voice of Africa’s most vulnerable,” said Ethiopian First Lady Azeb Mesfin speaking on the event.
According to UNAIDS report 2011, the number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa has dropped by more than 26 percent.
UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe applauded OAFLA’s contribution to the achievement.
“Today their network is reaching out a lot of people throughout the continent and they are helping to make sure to reduce numbers of new infections among children and young people,” he said.
On the Assembly, first ladies of Zambia, Sudan, South Sudan, Comoros and Cape Verde were welcomed as new members of OAFLA.
(ERTA)