Accra, May 19, GNA – The Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA), has broadened its programmes beyond eliminating the disease to controlling and preventing breast and cervical cancers, Mrs Lordina Mahama, the First Lady has said.
Other areas of campaign include reducing maternal and child mortality and ending child marriages.
A statement copied to Ghana News Agency in Accra said Mrs Mahama, who is the President of OAFLA, was addressing the Wives of African Heads of Mission, Female Ambassadors and Leaders of Japanese Women Groups in Tokyo, Japan on Wednesday.
She said despite OAFLA broadened programmes of activities, getting new HIV infections to zero, remained the organisation’s principal objective.
She said new HIV infections among adolescents are not declining quickly enough, as compared to other segments of the population.
Mrs Mahama said the concern prompted OAFLA earlier this year, to hold a meeting of OAFLA members and stakeholders in Accra.
The meeting was under the banner of the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual and Health Rights, which launched a new campaign to tackle this challenge.
She said OAFLA members were determined to ensure an HIV free generation for the continent through education, campaigns and the provision of anti-retroviral drugs, among others.
The OAFLA President noted that as mothers, it is their duty to prevent children from being married off to men they do not know, love and who are far older than them.
She said Ghana’s policy, is helping in ensuring that girls stay in school “and this my office works closely with the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection”.
“This Ministry does a lot of work to empower women, support and promote children's rights, and gives assistance to the poor and vulnerable.”
Mrs Mahama said the Lordina Foundation have been providing an influential support to the Ministry and work to supplement the ministry by implementing a well-developed set of interventions, to meet the objectives of my Foundation.
“We have been working to empower our women and equip them with the necessary resources and skills to promote their own welfare, as well as cater for the needs of their children and other dependents.
“Over the last couple of years, the Lordina Foundation has and will continue, to provide material and financial support to orphanages in the country and also facilitating the construction of modern accommodation for toddlers in two of the orphanages.”
She said one of the high profile programmes of the organisation is the periodic medical outreach to under-served communities in to conduct free cervical, breast cancer and HIV tests, and provide education on these diseases for the general public, especially women.
“One of our popular modules involves providing skills and vocational training to create opportunities for girls and women.”
Mrs Mahama said with the support of Medshare USA, the foundation support for deprived health facilities has been most successful with the distributed of medical supplies and equipment, to more than 50 District Hospitals and Health Centres, in Ghana.
“In education, we support schools and facilitate scholarships for needy students to study in Ghana and abroad and our most acclaimed programme is our work with the Gambaga 'witches' camp in the Northern part of Ghana.
“The Lordina Foundation is currently constructing a vocational school with improve accommodation in the camp, to teach the women, and their children, useful skills in order to be self-sustaining.”
OAFLA was formed by African First Ladies at the height of the HIV and AIDS pandemic and was meant as a vehicle for First Ladies of Africa to mobilise time, effort, education and resources to stop the AIDS disease from ravaging their people.
Source: Ghana Web.news