NGOZI October 29th (ABP) – The First Lady of Burundi Ms. Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza launched the “Being born free to shine” campaign in Vyerwa of Mwumba commune, Ngozi province (north of Burundi) on Thursday October 25, 2018.
Launched on 29th January 2018 in Addis Ababa by OAFLA, and the African Union on the sidelines of the 20th General Assembly of OAFLA, the goal of the campaign is to end AIDS among children by 2030. It consists of uniting individuals, decision-makers, leaders and organizations at all levels for a personal and collective understanding of the actions that 1st Ladies can lead to the implementation and use of health services aimed at ending AIDS among children, adolescents and young people.The ceremonies took place at the Vyerwa stadium in the presence of the various authorities including the First Ladies of Zambia and the Central African Republic, the Minister of Public Health and the fight against AIDS, the elected parliamentarians in Ngozi and the Resident Representative from UNAIDS. The campaign is part of the implementation of the program of the Organization of Africa’s First Ladies against AIDS in which Ms. Denise Bucumi is a member.
The representative of UNFPA, who spoke on behalf of UNAIDS, encouraged OAFLA, which came with a new dynamic involving all actors to reach a generation without AIDS. He congratulates Burundi for the step taken. Here it is noted that the seroprevalence rate has increased from 24% in 2010 to 13% in 2016. He also said that the United Nations system in Burundi will remain behind the Government of Burundi for actions to fight against AIDS in children.
In his speech, the Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS thanked OAFLA Burundi for its contributions to the mobilization and sensitization of the whole Burundian population. He outlined Burundi’s positive development in the fight against AIDS. For example, voluntary screening has increased from 433,771 in 2010 to over 1,600,000 in 2017, PMTCT sites from 119 to 826, and ARVs from 399 to 686 in the same period. For the people under ARV, the rise was spectacular going from 600 people to 61,314 from 2002 to 2017.
In her speech of the day, the First Lady of Burundi announced that during the meeting of First Ladies of Africa on 25 September 2018 in New York, she had promised to launch this campaign in Burundi before the end of 2018. For Denise Nkurunziza, the campaign aims to contribute to the prevention of new HIV infections and infant mortality. To achieve this, the campaign will need to focus on global targets highlighted in the catalytic framework to end AIDS, TB and eliminate malaria in Africa by 2020.
Ms. Denise Nkurunziza also pointed out that this campaign is, in addition to other OAFLA Burundi initiatives such as the mobilization of elected representatives, women leaders, administrative officials, religious and community leaders at all levels. She calls for the combination of efforts to achieve the objectives. The First Lady of Burundi was given gifts of 3 cows, 3 sheep and baskets of food.