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UNAIDS Appoints First Lady HIV/AIDS Ambassador

The First lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo has been made a Premier Ambassador of Ghana for HIV Advocacy, Elimination of Mother to Child HIV Transmission and Keeping Mothers Alive as well as Empowerment of Young Women and Adolescent Girls for Ghana.

The First Lady, is also currently a Member of the Executive Committee of OAFLA and Chair of the West African First Ladies.

The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Mr Michel Sidibe, who paid a courtesy call on the First Lady, congratulated her and her husband, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on winning the 2016 presidential election.

He commended the country, saying “Ghana is a true demonstration of democracy in Africa and beyond.”

Mr Sidibe said the UNAIDS was committed to working with Ghana to put the country on the world map as having eradicated new infections of HIV in the country.

He said presently, the epidemic was at its defining moment and much had been achieved by Ghana by extending HIV treatment to more people.

HIV in adolescents

Mr Sidibe, however, said the most challenging moment about the disease was with adolescents transiting into adulthood.

He explained that such people were normally not tested so they did not know their statuss, those who knew were also not ready to take anti-retroviral medication while those on the treatment were also not ready to take their medication.

Mr Sidibe, therefore, called on the First Lady to become a voice for adolescents to encourage them to be more aware of the disease.

The UNAIDS Country Director, Mr Girmay Haile, who announced the conferment of the Premier Ambassador status on the First Lady, said the role of First Ladies in Africa in combating HIV and AIDS was crucial and, therefore, assured Mrs Akufo-Addo of the readiness of the Ghana office to support her in her endeavours.

Mrs Akufo Addo thanked the UNAIDS for the honour done her and pledged to work to help combat the disease.

The First Lady said Infanta Malaria, her non-governmental organisation (NGO) which had been running for 12 years, had supported many mothers and their children and was, therefore, ready to support HIV and AIDS issues.

Source: Graphic Online

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