|© UNICEF Ireland|
|Irish popstar and actress, Samantha Mumba, is a Special Representative for UNICEF Ireland. Among her responsibilities, she acts as spokesperson for UNICEF Ireland's annual “Kids Helping Kids” campaign.|
Irish popstar and actress, Samantha Mumba, visited Zambia as a Special Representative for UNICEF Ireland from 18 to 24 April 2003.
This was her first trip abroad as a UNICEF Ireland Special Representative and Ms. Mumbamade this fact-finding trip part of her role as spokesperson for UNICEF Ireland's annual schools campaign, 'Kids Helping Kids'. The 2003 campaign is focused on eradicating polio.
UNICEF Ireland has had a long-term commitment to the impoverished in Zambia and has been directly funding humanitarian programmes there since 1997. Among the programmes UNICEF Ireland directly funds in Zambia are two important initiatives to combat the two biggest child killers in the country - HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Ms. Mumba has spoken about how witnessing, first hand, the devastation that HIV/AIDS has caused throughout Zambia would be one of the toughest parts of her trip.
“I was very upset to find out that nearly 30,000 babies are estimated to become infected every year with HIV in Zambia,” she said. “I hope to learn a lot on my trip about the work that UNICEF does in Zambia. I will be visiting UNICEF antenatal clinics where women who are HIV positive receive special anti-retroviral drugs which helps reduce the transmission of HIV to their babies by up to 60 per cent.”