The First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu has said that, despite the progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, there is much more to be done.
She also said that there is a lot of hope in the battle despite the challenges militating against its total success,
At the high level pre-conference meeting of the 22nd International Conference on AIDS and STI in Africa (ICASA), organised by the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) in Harare, Zimbabwe, Mrs Tinubu explained that the sheer population of the country at over 200 million is a major challenge in the fight against the scourge.
He emphasised that her husband, President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda has rekindled hope in all spheres of life in the nation, fight against HIV/AIDS inclusive.
“Although HIV/AIDS receives a lot of attention, Nigeria plans to achieve triple elimination of HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis. I am going back to Nigeria and I will meet with the First Ladies of the various states. We are getting to work. We are now more committed than ever. HIV/AIDS should have been long gone”, she said.
The First Lady noted that the various challenges hindering greater progress in bringing the figures to the barest minimum, including insecurity and stigmatisation would be addressed frontally.
She assured that, as an advocate for girl child education, and with her Renewed Hope Initiative, “ we will find all, test all and treat all even before the deadline of 2030”.
Earlier, the First Lady Zimbabwe, Dr. Auxillia Mnanagagwa noted that the men and male children must be included as important community to help eliminate the HIV/AIDS scourge totally.
“Children living with HIV/AIDS deserve our best care and they have a right to be on child friendly anti- retroviral drugs”, she said.
First Ladies of Botswana and Mozambique, representatives of their counterparts in Egypt, Burundi and Angola shared their interventions.
The Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Winnie Byanyiwa appealed to the First Ladies who she described as the most important community in the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission and the Elimination of New Infections.
She urged them to adopt the use of Science and Technology to achieve this, adding: “This is a winnable war”.