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Nigerian First Lady Tinubu joins stakeholders in commemorating 2023 World AIDS Day

Nigerian First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, CON (l); and Dr. Auxillia Mnangagwa, First Lady of Zimbabwe at the Commemoration of 2023 World AIDS Day, in Zimbabwe Photo: State House

*Nigerian First Lady Senator Oluremi Tinubu, CON, at an event in Zimbabwe, asserts the fight against HIV/AIDS can only be won with communities leading from the front in various human communities, urging stakeholders to intensify efforts at attaining the goal of eradicating the pandemic by 2030

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Nigerian First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, CON, has stated that the fight against HIV/AIDS can only be won with the active involvement of leaders of various communities.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu stated this while speaking in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, at the commemoration of the year 2023 World AIDS Day,  with the theme: “Let Communities Lead”.

Busola Kukoyi, Special Assistant to the First Lady on Media, Friday, December 1, 2023, disclosed Dr. Auxillia Mnangagwa, First Lady of Zimbabwe, organised the gathering ahead of the 22nd Edition of the International Conference on AIDS and STI in Africa (ICASA).

The statement noted event attracted participants from the United Nations (UN), and other sister agencies, who speak about the need to scale up advocacy and education about the pandemic.

Senator Tinubu, in her address on the occasion, decried the recent statistics released by the UNAIDS, which revealed that in 2022, there were about 1.5 million new infections, and the African continent accounted for two thirds of that figure.

The Nigerian First Lady stated: “For decades, the global response to HIV/AIDS has been driven by governments, international organisations, and healthcare professionals. “While their efforts have been commendable, it is time to recognise the pivotal role that communities play in shaping the response to this epidemic.”

She also said: “Communities should be at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS, and their leadership is crucial in achieving our goals of prevention, treatment, and support.

“The Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OFLAD) would be having a preconference high level meeting on the 2nd of December  under the theme, ‘Addressing the Elimination of Mother to-Child Transmission and the Elimination of Newborn Infections in Africa’, with the purpose of sharing experiences from our various nations, providing recommendations, devising strategies to achieve the all-encompassing goal of eliminating Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV on the African Continent.”

Senator Tinubu urged various community leaders, especially traditional rulers, religious leaders, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs), among others who have led the fight in the past to intensify their efforts so that the target of eradicating the pandemic by 2030 can be met.

“We are Africans. We are known for our resilience and tenacity.

“We must not give up. This we can do and we must do,” she urged the stakeholders.

Also speaking at the event, Dr. Mnangagwa, First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe, admonished the participants about the dangers of premarital sex, unwholesome medical practices, youth and adolescents’ vices that escalate the transmission of the disease, eradication of stigmatisation, knowing one’s status and the need to seek help early.

The First Lady said there is a need to stop the blame game between the men and the women and concentrate more on coming together to put an end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The statement further said there were other presentations by various Zimbabwean artistes to drive home the need for enhanced community involvement in the fight against the pandemic.

Kukoyi stated First Lady Senator Tinubu had arrived Zimbabwe Thursday for the ICASA pre-conference high-level meeting by the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OFLAD), kicking off Saturday, December 2, 2023, in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, with the theme, “Addressing the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission and the Elimination of Newborn Infections in Africa”.

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