The First Lady of Sierra Leone highlights her country’s efforts on stopping new HIV infections in children
08 March 2013
On 7 March, the eve of International Women's Day, Sierra Leone’s First Lady Alice Sia Nyama Koroma hosted a dinner in Freetown, where efforts to improve health services for women and children were showcased. The First Lady recently launched a campaign towards eliminating new HIV infections among children in partnership with UNAIDS, Voice of Women and the National AIDS Control Programme.
Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director, joined the high level delegation along with Cherie Blair, head of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and Dr Kandeh Yumkella, UNIDO Director General.
The First Lady presented her project “the Women’s Initiative for Safer Health” (WISH), which aims to reduce child and maternal mortality by improving access to health facilities and training health workers. A documentary was also screened on the efforts to eliminate new HIV infections in children and keeping mothers healthy.
Today, we are celebrating our successes and challenges as women who are very vocal in the campaign for women’s empowerment. But as Oliver Twist would say, we are always asking for more. I would therefore use my profile as an African woman and my office to continue championing the cause of women because we believe women should be part of the decision-making process within the governance structure.
The First Lady is a model of compassion. Thanks to her leadership, Sierra Leone is on track to be the first country in West Africa to eliminate the transmission of HIV from mother to child by 2015.
Your leadership has shown the strength of soft power to promote important issues, such as ending mother to child transmission of HIV.