In JOHANNESBURG, SA
FIRST Lady Esther Lungu has urged African first ladies to remain resolute in ending preventable maternal, neo-natal and child deaths.
Ms Lungu said despite the gains made so far, there was need to continue exploring how best to work with men in maternal and ne-onatal health and gender-based violence.
She said this during the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) gathering on the sidelines of the AU Assembly of Heads of State in Johannesburg.
The meeting was held under the theme ‘Enhancing partnerships to end AIDS by 2030 and to empower women in their sexual reproductive health rights’.
“Increasing our collective commitment to cervical cancer prevention continues to be cardinal because cervical cancer is still a major problem, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The double burden of cervical cancer and HIV must be an issue that should remain alive on the OAFLA agenda,” she said.
Ms Lungu said to move forward post-2015, there was need for a mobilisation of partners who were ready to match their resolve with significant resources.
“We need to move to implementation stage of all those many guidelines, training manuals and strategic plans. Let there be less talking and more action to save lives,” Ms Lungu said.
The first ladies needed to work together to attain a united and prosperous Africa through the empowerment of women and girls.
“I speak with conviction because in the first four months of my tenure in office I have visited 19 orphanages, 36 hospitals and rural health centres, 54 women associations and clubs, 17 Schools, five Home-based care centres and two GBV One-stop centres and experienced first-hand the needs of citizens,” she said.