(OAFLAD) Celebrates International Women’s Day  

The First Lady  Dr. Widad Babiker Stresses  on  the Need to Advocate for Women Living with HIV/AIDS.

Haffiya Elyas

In 2002, First Ladies of Africa came together to form the Organization of African First Ladies (OAFLAD) against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA), with the objective to be a united voice for Africa’s most susceptible citizens; women and children living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. Along the years, OAFLA has evolved to become an institution that is able to offer a continent-wide leadership in terms of advocacy in the areas of HIV and a broad range of maternal and child health intervention.

OAFLA currently named as the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) is an advocacy organization where First Ladies of Africa seek to leverage their unique position to advocate for policies that make health services accessible and laws that boost women and youth empowerment. First Ladies of Africa reinforce favorable policies and programs through advocacy, resource mobilization and development of partnerships with all stakeholders at all levels. First Ladies engage in various community-level activities to sensitize community and create awareness on health risks and policies.
The First Lady  Dr. Wadad Babiker, stressed to  the need to advocate for women living with HIV/AIDS, to meet their special needs as well as to provide employment opportunities for the unemployed and the place among members of the community
This came during her speech (advocating for women living with HIV) organized by the Organization of the  African First Ladies for Development-Sudan office, Thursday in the Friendship Hall in cooperation with the Ministries of Health, Social Security and development, the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the group Women volunteering for HIV/AIDS, as part of the celebration of International Women’s Day.
She acknowledged that many of the challenges faced by centre-level and state-level clients, as well as poor delivery of services to patients, were required to provide all rights, including education, health and employment
She stressed that more effort and access to income projects for the unemployed in addition to being included under the umbrella of health insurance, and appealed to the Supreme Council of Awqaf, guidance and guidance to raise the morale of the cohabiting women and urged the community to be treated with them to provide a decent life for them. He stressed the need to train teachers and students in how to fight the disease.
The Country Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), George Shaw, praised the Government of the Sudan for embracing the comprehensive strategies and policies of the World Health Organization (WHO) and for increasing coverage and improving treatment outcomes, praising the important role played by the best Lady Dr. Wadad Babiker with the organization of The African  First Ladies of for Development to contribute to the welfare of children, youth and women to provide care during pregnancy and to provide HIV testing for patients, he added, adding that  “we are celebrating International Women’s Day and we affirm our commitment to the health and well-being of women and mothers in order to create an HIV-free generation of AIDS” he said .
Secretary-General of the Sudanese Women’s Union, Ahlam Mohamed Ibrahim, called for more attention to cohabitation, financing of their projects and providing the needs, employment and protection of this segment, which she described as important
The representative of the Federal Ministry of Health, Director of the General Department of Primary health care, Dr. Suleiman Abduljabbar, committed to providing the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, adding that their priorities are to protect the lives of citizens, restore health and rehabilitate the injured.
Abdul Jabbar stressed on the need to work with all stakeholders and to do more to protect citizens, stressing that medical services should be provided in the required manner

The representative of the people living with AIDS (Inshirah) called on the people to be serious about living together and working to solve all the problems they face in health, education and work, and to work to provide them with productive projects as well as to activate a law to stop violence against women
The Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) has announced that it is to expand its scope of work to incorporate a broader range of development issues affecting the continent. OAFLA has also changed its name, to the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), and adopted a vision of “A developed Africa with healthy and empowered children, youth and women”.
During its General Assembly, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 11 February, the newly established OAFLAD endorsed its 2019–2023 strategic plan, which outlines the key thematic areas that the first ladies will be working on. These include a continued focus on reduction of new HIV infections and AIDS-related mortality, noncommunicable diseases, gender equality, women’s and youth empowerment, reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, social security and social protection.
In a tribute to Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, the First Lady of Burkina Faso and Chair of OAFLAD, Sika Kaboré, said, “What we will remember from Michel Sidibé’s career is that we can reach ambitious targets if we believe in them, if we unite our forces strategically and if we keep our faith in our populations and in the African values of solidarity and sharing.” A number of first ladies added words of support and appreciation for Mr Sidibé’s leadership and engagement over many years, and he was awarded a certificate of appreciation.
“UNAIDS has worked hand in hand with the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS since that very first meeting in 2002. I had the privileged to be there then and I have the privilege to be with you still today. I urge you all to remain committed to ending AIDS, because together we can ensure a better future for our children and young people, and a generation free from AIDS,” said Mr Sidibé.
The first ladies committed to continue to work on one of their flagship campaigns, Free to Shine, a campaign to end AIDS among children, adolescents and young people and keep mothers healthy. To date, the campaign has been launched in 15 countries across Africa, many having integrated the campaign into their national HIV plans. UNAIDS is providing further funding to launch Free to Shine in Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone, with roll-out starting in 2019.

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