The Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) held a consultative meeting where the organizations 2014-2018
strategic plan was finalized, and the hand over of the presidency was held in the presence of Penehupifo Pohamba, First Lady of Namibia, Hinda Deby Itno, First Lady of Chad, Roman Tesfaye, First Lady of Ethiopia and Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of Kenya.
“OAFLA has made progress regarding the elimination of new HIV infection among pregnant mothers. We have disbursed over USD 400,000 for our campaigns during the last 12 months,” said Pohamba. She also stated that developing new partnerships and strengthening existing ones was among the priorites of the organization.
First Lady Hinda Deby Itno, who previously held the post of vice president, was inaugurated as the new president of OAFLA. In her welcoming speech, First Lady Roman Tesfaye said that OAFLA presidents are democratically elected every two years. She also stated that OAFLA member states have been able to benefit from different funds that come from partners and OAFLA itself, to implement the respective projects of various African countries, within the mandate of OAFLA.
“Our organization’s visibility has also increased and holds a bright future, I believe, especially with the implementation of the 2014-2018 strategic plan, which is now in its final stage of drafting and includes the framework for combating our continent’s major development hindrances,” she said.
The strategic plan includes policy advocacy; only six African countries have met the target of allocating at least 15 percent of their annual budget to health, a goal set during the African Summit on HIV/AIDS in 2000. Resource mobilization is also part of the stratagic plan. It was stated that almost all HIV/AIDS programs are financed through international funding and this may not be feasible as the global financial crisis continues.
The strategic plan revolves around different issues such as OAFLA’s involvment in HIV/AIDS, action on maternal, newborn and child health, women’s health regarding cervical cancer, building the institutional capacity of OAFLA Chapters and the Secretariats, and many more.
The Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) was established by African First Ladies as a collective voice for Africa’s most vulnerable people, women and children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.