First Lady Pledges Support to HIV/AIDS Campaigns

PANCAP | July 9, 2013

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has Monday reaffirmed her commitment to work with key stakeholders and other Kenyans in giving the HIV/AIDS campaign a new impetus to reduce the stigma and discrimination against people living with the disease in the country.

The First Lady made the pledge when she met the President and Chief Executive Officer of Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) Mr. Charles Lyons who paid her a courtesy call at State house.

During the meeting, the First Lady said she would be working closely with all stakeholders in providing the necessary support to alleviate the suffering of mothers and children.

The First Lady said the Government has launched a new initiative to provide free maternity services by waiving all user fees in public Health centres and dispensaries.

Through the initiative and other programmes, the First Lady said mentor Mother programme nationwide will be scaled up to strengthen breastfeeding support for mothers living with the disease.

Statistical data indicate that new HIV AIDS infections among children aged below 14 years decreased by 44 per cent between2009-2012 to 13,000 cases last year.

She expressed appreciation to EGPAF for Working together with the Government and other partners to provide a range of HIV-related services including counseling, testing, the establishment of prevention of
mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programs and lifelong care and treatment for children and their families.

Mr. Lyons, on his part assured the First Lady that his organization will continue to support those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in the country.

The EGPAF Chief Executive Officer said his organization has provided PMTCT services and HIV counseling and education to more than 1.2 million pregnant women in the country.

The organization has further provided more than 49,000 pregnant women living with HIV with medicines to prevent HIV transmission, he added.

Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing pediatric HIV infection and eliminating pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy, prevention and treatment programs. It is active in 19 countries around the world.

In Kenya, EGPAF partners with the Government and other stakeholders to eliminate Pediatric AIDS among Women, Children, and Families through technical and organizational capacity-building assistance to indigenous HIV prevention, care, and treatment service organizations.

In attendance were EGPAF country Director Mr. Titus Syengo, the Director Global Support Team Dr. Nicholas Muraguri and the Chief of Staff Constance Gakonya.