Ghana?s First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama has been sworn into office as the new President of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The position of the OAFLA Presidency is elected every two years by the Organization General Assembly.
Mrs Mahama is the seventh to be elected to serve as OAFLA president since the organization?s establishment in 2002.
A statement from the office of the First Lady and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said OAFLA was established by the African First Ladies as a collective voice for Africa?s most vulnerable people, women and children infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.
The statement said OAFLA now has more than 26 African First Ladies as its active members, each leading her national chapter to do exemplary work in the areas of HIV and AIDS, maternal and child health, cervical and breast cancer.
It said Mrs Mahama commended her predecessor, Mrs Hinda Deby Itno, First Lady of Chad for the excellent leadership and the service she offered to the organization during her term of office.
The statement added that the first Lady assured her predecessor that together with the new team they would not lower the standard she had set for them but would work harder to improve on what she has done and set a new benchmark for future presidents of OAFLA.
It said according to the First Lady, during the last twelve years, African first ladies had made tremendous contributions to the Africa Union?s commitment to fast track efforts designed to reduce AIDS to the barest minimum.
According to the statement Mrs Mahama said African first ladies had realised significant results as ambassadors for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission and for an AIDS-free generation.
It said according to her the first ladies had engaged in aggressive awareness raising campaigns and advocacy in their respective countries.
?We have supported the substantial progress made on various Millennium Development Goals and driven by that evidence; we have expanded the mandate of OAFLA to address a broader set of sexual and reproductive health priorities.
?Our current OAFLA Strategic Plan (2014-2018) incorporates maternal, neo-natal and child health, cervical cancer and the empowerment of women, girls and children?.
The statement said the First Lady promised that under her leadership and with support OAFLA members, the organisation would strengthen ties with its existing partners, and engage new private and non-governmental partners to achieve our strategic goals.
?My focus will be on accelerating the campaign to eliminate new HIV infections among children and keep their mothers alive and ensure that no child is born with HIV and we shall achieve that?.
It said Mrs Mahama also promised to advocate the need for a united and continental ?All-in campaign?, which ensures that we track progress among adolescents and that no one is left behind.
?We can only achieve these with unity and mind of purpose and will achieve these priorities by tirelessly educating and empowering our women and girls, whilst ensuring that they become economically independent.
Source : GNA/newsghana.com.gh