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African First Ladies Discuss Health

The first ladies in a group photograph after their meeting

First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo has met her counterparts from across Africa to further hold discussions on their contribution to the health and well-being of children, the youth and women on the continent.

The meeting which happened on the fringes of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) currently underway at the United Nations headquarters in New York also discussed the 2019 to 2023 strategic plan for the Organisation of African First Ladies Against AIDS (OAFLA).

Members who participated in the discussions shared differing views on whether to stick to just four core areas such as HIV, cancer and child marriage or focus on implementing the strategic plan on the other hand which has a list of about seven broad areas which the first ladies could work towards.

The focus areas in the document included HIV&AIDS, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), reproductive health, maternal, new-born and child health (RMNCH), gender equality, women and youth empowerment, universal health coverage (UHC), social security and protection and institutional capacity strengthening.

The first ladies pointed out that for easy evaluation of each member’s contributions, the areas captured in the document should be narrowed to at most four areas.

According to Madam Sika Bella Kabore, First Lady of Burkina Faso and Acting President of OAFLA, the discussion would enable the organisation to come out with a workable document which all the first ladies could own and work with.

“With a vision of a developed Africa with healthy and empowered children, youth and women, the document has the goal of making a significant contribution to the health and well-being of children, youth and women in Africa,” she said.

Aside Mrs. Akufo-Addo, the meeting also featured first ladies from Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Lesotho, Uganda, Madagascar, Congo, Burundi, Ethiopia and other countries.

OAFLA seeks to contribute to the national effort in preventing, managing and eliminating HIV and AIDS.

In line with the work of the Rebecca Foundation, it also contributes to the national effort towards reducing maternal and infant mortality.

A health desk report

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