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UN vows to reduce HIV infections among women

28 March 2014, 11:30

Nairobi - The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reiterated its commitment to lessen new infections among women as well as improve the health of mothers in the country.

The organisation has held a women’s rights leaders meeting to discuss ways of enhancing the attainment of such objectives.

More than 100 leaders and representatives of women’s rights organizations from across the country attended the event in Nairobi Thursday.

UNAIDS, United Nations Development Programme, the National AIDS Control Council, the National AIDS and STI Control Programme and  the Community Advocacy and Awareness (CRAWN) Trust co-organised the meeting.

The event aimed to accelerate the momentum started by the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, through the Beyond Zero campaign, an initiative to end mother-to-child transmission and AIDS-related maternal deaths in the country.

UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Jan Beagle stressed, that for UNAIDS, gender equality and human rights—including sexual and reproductive health rights were non-negotiable elements to ensure effective HIV and health responses.

Beagle applauded the First Lady’s personal commitment to such initiatives.

Stakeholders hailed the multi-sectoral initiative to curb HIV/AIDS infections among the females.

“Our involvement as the women’s s movement is a game changer and will catalyze actions needed to bring the necessary changes and accelerate the achievement of the Beyond Zero campaign goals,” said Daisy Amdany, CRAWN Trust Executive Director.

Government figures show that in Kenya AIDS-related illnesses account for one in five maternal deaths.

Also, 100 000 children under the age of five years died from preventable causes in 2012.

According to WHO figures, Kenya currently dedicates 6 percent of its national budget—less than half of the 15 percent Abuja Declaration target-to the health sector.

– CAJ News

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