First Lady Esther Lungu has called for enhanced sensitization on issues of maternal, neonatal and child health in the country.
Mrs Lungu observed that cooperating partners were helping with resources but that Zambians were not applying themselves fully in order to reach out to the remotest areas where the issues are rampant.
The first lady told ZANIS in an interview in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that there is need to improve the welfare of girls to enable them realize their full potential in order to contribute to the social and economic growth of the country.
Mrs Lungu who is in Ethiopia to attend the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA) 18th General Assembly said she would join other first ladies on the continent and share what each of the 54 African Union (AU) member countries was doing in relation to maternal and child health, and the empowerment of women and the girl child.
‘We are going to do checks and balances to see the progress done by the OAFLA member countries and learn from one another. We want to understand the workable strategies as we share success and failures in the areas of maternal, neonatal and child health, and gender issues,’ she said.
Mrs Lungu is chairperson of the steering committee and represents the Southern sub region with her Malawian counterpart Getrude Muthrika.
She said the OAFLA member countries will cement what has already been done to further improve the welfare of women and girls in order to eliminate HIV and AIDS and helping girls realize their potential in life in line with the OAFLA goal of eliminating AIDS.
She also called on the media to publicize what government and other partners were doing to address the issues affecting women and girls in the country.
Mrs Lungu who arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia yesterday afternoon at Bole international airport around 13 45 hours local time was received by Minister of Gender Victoria Kalima and Zambia’s High commissioner to Ethiopia Susan Sikaneta and several other embassy staff and Government officials from Ethiopia.
Mrs Lungu was scheduled to give a five minute intervention on the theme, ‘celebrating 15 years of strengthened and continued collaboration in supporting efforts aimed at ending AIDS and improving maternal and child health for all African women and children.’
She is also expected to highlight the successes made in the last fifteen years in Zambia in the area of HIV and AIDS, maternal, neonatal and child health among others issues.