First Lady meets Prime Minister

29 Apr 2014 08:10am
WINDHOEK, 29 APR (NAMPA) – First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba on Monday met Prime Minister Hage Geingob and his deputy Marco Hausiku to brief them on the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programme’s successes and the activities of the Organisation for African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA).
In her remarks before their closed-door meeting at State House, Pohamba outlined her achievements during her OAFLA presidency from July 2011 to July 2014, as well as her future plans.
She handed over the OAFLA presidency in October 2013 to her Chadian counterpart, Hinda Déby Itno, who had been her deputy for two years.
“I am delighted to say that I handed over the office to Chad with good achievements, especially in the three priority areas, as well as audited financial statements,” she beamed.
Pohamba said during her tenure, she oversaw significant achievements, especially in the priority areas of expanding effective strategies for the elimination of new HIV infections; reduction of maternal and child mortality; promotion of effective communication, advocacy, resource mobilisation and partnerships; and the revitalisation of OAFLA membership.
On his part, Geingob thanked the First Lady for requesting the meeting. Out of respect, he decided to meet her at State House, and not at his office.
“You made a mark, not only in Namibia, but in Africa and the world,” he praised Pohamba.
She further informed the Premier that she spent most of the first year of her presidency sorting out inherited problems - one being the shortage of manpower to run the day-to-day activities of the organisation.
“My first move immediately after I received the office in October 2011 was to employ secretariat staff,” she stated, adding that she appointed an executive secretary; communications officer; programme officer, as well as financial and administrative officers and a cleaner.
Pohamba added that when she took over the office, there were some funds donated by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) campaign, which were not utilised.
OAFLA then spent a large amount of time in identifying, locating and disbursing those funds appropriately, and submitted reports.
She also initiated the launch of the PMTCT programme at continental level.
Apart from UNAIDS, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the African Union (AU) and Ernest and Young, who are old partners of OAFLA, Pohamba mobilised new partners in the form of the All- China Women’s Federation; Trachurus Fishing Company; World Bank; the International Planned Parenthood Federation; the World Health Organisation (WHO); United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF); the UNAIDS High-Level Task Force; United Nations’ Women; the World Food Programme; and the African Medical and Research Foundation as well as the European Union.
She pledged to continue to be a committed member of OAFLA, implement its agenda and attend meetings of the organisation.
Pohamba is also looking forward to chair the 8th ‘Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa’ conference, to be hosted by Namibia under her patronage from 20 to 22 July this year.