United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids (UNAids) executive director Michel Sidibe has hailed the appointment of First Lady Gertrude Mutharika as president of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV and Aids (Oafla).
Speaking on Monday after an audience with Mutharika in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the sidelines of the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, Sidibe said the First Lady deserved the position, considering her tireless participation and commitment to Oafla’s work.
He also said Mutharika demonstrated huge passion and commitment in the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.
“We want you to know that we are behind you. We will give you all the support so that you should be successful. We are very pleased with the work of Malawi,” Sidibe said.
In her remarks, Mutharika commended UNAids for what she termed effective global leadership in the HIV and Aids response and intervention.
The First Lady said UNAids continues to be a great partner to Oafla and national HIV and Aids responses in African countries, including Malawi.
She pledged to work extra hard to encourage fellow first ladies to redouble efforts to ensure the plight of children and adolescents in the HIV fight is addressed.
Mutharika was appointed president of Oafla early this year, replacing former Ghana first lady Lordina Dramani Mahama who left office following results of that country’s presidential election in which her husband John Dramani Mahama lost. n