Mozambican First Lady joins Global Campaign on Children and AIDS
Maputo, 28 July 2005 - Mozambique’s First Lady Maria da Luz Guebuza is joining the Global Campaign “Children and AIDS” to be initiated by UNICEF. The wife of President Armando Emílio Guebuza is expected to take a leading role in this advocacy and fundraising campaign, both in Mozambique and in the Southern Africa region, which aims to place children and adolescents at the centre of HIV/AIDS agenda. Ms. Guebuza formally expressed her commitment during a meeting with the UNICEF Representative Leila Pakkala.
The Global Campaign “Children and AIDS“, which is currently being developed by UNICEF responds to the need for more prioritized attention to the specific needs of children and adolescents affected directly or indirectly by the pandemic.
The recent increase in funding for the response to HIV/AIDS is far from being sufficient to address the magnitude of the needs of the millions of children whose lives have been affected by the rapid spread of the pandemic across the world, and especially in sub-Saharan Africa. As a response UNICEF wants to mobilize more focused attention to the needs of the most vulnerable children. The campaign aims to scale up best practices for prevention, care, support and treatment of children affected by AIDS and to leverage and mobilize additional funds for programmes supporting them. It will run from 2005 to 2010 and will encompass a large range of coordinated actions by UNICEF country offices and National UNICEF Committees. The Campaign is global in scope but with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, the region hardest hit and least able to cope. At the same time it is regional and national in designing targeted responses best addressing the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. A number of countries have aleady been proposed as focus countries of this global campaign, with one of them being Mozambique
As the programmatic aims of the campaign are being worked out, four major areas of programme activities have been identified, the so-called “Four Ps”: (a) Prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child (PMTCT), (b) Prevention of infections among young people, (c) Paedriatic treatment and (d) Protection, care and support of children orphaned and affected by HIV and AIDS.
An important component of the campaign is the development of partnerships and alliances. In Mozambique, UNICEF is currently working with a range of partners to discuss the scope of the campaign, and to develop specific plans that build on ongoing work and efforts by all. The active involvement of the Mozambican First Lady, and other critical actors and stakeholders, will be instrumental in ensuring that the development and wellbeing of Mozambican children affected and infected by HIV and AIDS is placed high on the national, regional and international agenda.