Tanzanian First Lady Visits Foundation D.C. Office
June 8, 2010
Mama Kikwete visits the EGPAF office in
Washington, D.C. (Photo: EGPAF)
As a Tanzanian, I was honored today to travel with the First Lady of my country, Mama Salma Kikwete, to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s (EGPAF) office in Washington, D.C.
The First Lady is in the U.S. capital this week attending the Women Deliver conference
as part of her advocacy on women and child health issues.
Mama Salma Kikwete and her foundation, Wanawake Na Maendeleo (WAMA),
have taken a leading role in championing prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in Tanzania
. Because of this background, EGPAF in Tanzania has been working closely with the First Lady in advocating for the dramatic scale-up of PMTCT services.
To acknowledge her great work and presence here in Washington, the Foundation invited the First Lady to meet with our president and CEO, Mr. Charles Lyons.
The meeting was also attended by the Tanzanian Ambassador to the U.S., Mr. Ombeni Sefue, WAMA’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Daudi Nassib, and additional Tanzanian and EGPAF representatives.
Mama Kikwete (center), Charles Lyons (second from right), and the First Lady's
Tanzanian delegation at the EGPAF office in Washington, D.C. (Photo: EGPAF)
During the meeting, Mama Kikwete gave an overview of her advocacy efforts, and expressed appreciation for the collaboration and support that we are giving to her foundation. She stated that HIV stigma and discrimination are still major challenges, and that we all need to adjust our advocacy strategies in order to tackle that problem.
She also discussed the importance of nutritional support to children living with HIV in Tanzania.
Charles commended the First Lady for her advocacy efforts in Tanzania, and promised continued support and collaboration with the WAMA foundation in order to ensure that we eliminate pediatric HIV and AIDS.
“Your role is so important, and an inspiration to others,” said Charles.
As a Tanzanian, I am extremely proud of what our First Lady has been doing in the fight against HIV/AIDS. She is a shining example of what can be done to advocate for PMTCT and treatment for children and mothers living with HIV – not just in my country, but throughout Africa.
Jane Shuma is a communications and outreach officer for the Foundation in Tanzania. She is attending the Women Deliver conference in Washington, D.C., through a scholarship sponsored by Women Deliver.