President Kaunda Agrees to Serve as “Brothers for Life” Ambassador
LUSAKA, Zambia (27 July 2011/UNICEF) – Zambia’s First Republican President, His Excellency Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, has accepted an invitation from the National AIDS Council and UNICEF Zambia to become an ambassador in the regional HIV and AIDS prevention campaign “Brothers for Life.” Brothers for Life seek greater involvement of males in the response against the pandemic.
UNICEF Zambia Representative Dr. Iyorlumun J. Uhaa met with President Kaunda to strategize on bringing Brothers for Life to Zambia, which will be launched in Zambia next month. Brothers for Life aim to motivate males to protect themselves from HIV through consistent condom usage and knowing their HIV status. The campaign also encourages males to drink alcohol responsibly and to say no to gender-based violence.
The meeting, which took place at President Kaunda’s office in Kabulonga, follows Dr. Kaunda’s recent acceptance to be a Brothers for Life Zambia Ambassador and subsequent participation in taping a Brothers for Life public service announcement that will soon begin airing on TV and radio.
“We support because we believe it is the right thing to do. The best support should come from the heart, out of conviction that you are doing the right thing. We all need to do what we can to fight this scourge,” said President Kaunda. “No amount of effort is too small, everyone should just do what they can do and together we can achieve. You will find us here. Whatever we can do, we will be there.”
Dr. Uhaa thanked Dr. Kaunda for his support in fighting HIV and AIDS.
“We thank you Your Excellency for accepting another request from UNICEF and to support this campaign. Thank you for your leadership in Zambia and abroad in helping to fight HIV and AIDS. This is what leadership is about,” said Dr. Uhaa. “We hope Brothers for Life will make a difference. We want men of strong character to talk with other men about how they can protect themselves and their partner from HIV.”
With funding support from UNICEF Denmark, Brothers for Life addresses issues of the risks associated with having multiple and concurrent partners, unprotected sex, alcohol abuse, and issues associated with gender-based violence. By utilizing various forms of mass media, the campaign will seek to promote HIV testing and male involvement in health seeking behaviours. The campaign, originally launched in South Africa, is now being expanded by UNICEF and its partners as a regional initiative in several countries, including Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.
UNICEF is working with a broad partnership to help bring Brothers for Life to Zambia including the Ministry of Health, NAC, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, UNAIDS, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Champ, Communications Support for Health, the Zambia-led Prevention Initiative, among others.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit www.unicef.org and www.unicef.org/zambia.
For further information, please contact:
Steve Sichone, Prevention/BCC Specialist, NAC, +(260)(0)977808138, firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick Slavin, Chief, Communications, UNICEF Zambia. + (260) 211-252055, email@example.com