First Lady starting OAFLA local chapter

15 Dec 2013 11:10am
WINDHOEK, 15 DEC (NAMPA) - First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba says she will continue to implement the agenda and attend meetings of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) until March 2015.
Pohamba served as OAFLA president from July 2011 to July this year and handed over the OAFLA office to her successor Deby Itno, Chad’s First Lady, in October 2013.
The OAFLA head office is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Addressing members of the media on her achievements as OAFLA president in the capital on Thursday, Pohamba noted that she will set up a functional OAFLA local chapter in Namibia.
She explained that her office is currently engaged in the process of registering the local chapter as a welfare organisation.
She hopes to officially open it early next year once it is registered.
“I will be very happy to coach and orientate my successor to continue where I left off,” she said.
The First Lady, who also serves as patron of the Maternal and Child Health National Agenda, said she is happy to be involved in the promotion of quality and universal accessibility of mother and child health services.
According to Pohamba, current projects she is working on include the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) awareness creation campaign on male involvement and exclusive breastfeeding of babies, as well as the construction of maternal shelters.
“I hope I will be able to complete these at least in four more regions before my tenure of office comes to an end,” she said.
She further announced that during the seventh ‘Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa’ conference in Maputo, Mozambique in July this year, the African First Ladies Forum for Cervical Cancer appointed Namibia to host the eighth conference in July 2014.
She therefore expressed gratitude to the Namibian Government for approving the hosting of the conference here and called on Namibians to concentrate their efforts on reducing the stigmatisation of cancer and improving primary and secondary prevention of cancer.
The Namibian First Lady said one of the partnerships cemented for OAFLA is a partnership with Trachurus Fishing Company, which according to her donated 3 000 ‘health boxes’ to the organisation and will continue to donate these in the future.
The boxes are currently on their way to OAFLA member states, she said, noting that she will ensure that the formalisation process of the partnership has been finalised before she leaves office in March 2015.
Each box contains, amongst other things, mosquito nets, mosquito and bed-bug repellants, anti-bacterial and anti-mould substances, porridge, high-energy drinks and water-purifying drops.
Established 10 years ago, OAFLA is aimed at advocating for the mobilisation of awareness and resources, as well as the development of leadership, policies, strategies and actions to fight HIV/AIDS at national, regional and global level.
A total of 37 member states are represented by African First Ladies in OAFLA.