The First Lady Madam Dr. Gertrude Mutharika who is also Organisation of African First Ladies (OAFLA) has secured $250,000 funding for OAFLA from United State based ALERE Incorporation.
ALERE Inc Goodwill Ambassador on Corporate Social Responsibility Zeina Henaine and ALERE Inc Vice President Willem Pretorius announced the provision of the funds when they called on Madam Mutharika for the first time as OAFLA President at the Marriot Executive Apartments in Addisababa, Ethiopia.
The funds according to Henaine and Pretorious are available to support OAFLA activities in member countries in appreciation and support of the good work and the positive impact First Ladies of Africa are doing through OAFLA.
“With this funding we want to renew ALERE’s commitment and support to OAFLA and member countries’ initiatives. We will continue to support and collaborate with you because of the work you, Madam First Lady and all the First Ladies of Africa are doing with all your heart in support of national and global response to HIV/AIDS, the adolescents, mother and child health,” said Zanaine.
OAFLA member states can access up to $50,000 worth of funds for OAFLA activities in their respective countries.
Apart from the $250,000 grant, through the First Lady, ALERE also invited OAFLA to partner the organization in its global awareness campaign on Ending Pediatric AIDS.
In her remarks, Madam Mutharika hailed ALERE for the “great” partnership and the timely provision of the new grant saying it will go a long way to assist OAFLA countries in their fight to eliminate HIV.
“Pregnant women, infants, adolescents and other at-risk populations in Africa will be able to benefit from the screening and prevention services through this grant. This is a timely gesture for it has come at a time when we are all working towards a zero HIV era,” Madam Mutharika said.
The First Lady said she will ensure that Malawi benefits from the new grant and that she will encourage the other First Ladies to access the funds to boost and make a difference in their efforts.
On the forthcoming Alere global campaign on Ending Pediatric AIDS, Madam Mutharika commended the organization for hatching the idea, saying it will address the plight of babies in the fight against HIV.
“I am very excited with this campaign. Where I am coming from, Malawi and many African countries health facilities are far much apart making it extremely difficult for mothers to bring their babies for HIV testing. Because of this many babies have failed to access treatment and have died. I want to assure you and I announce it here, that OAFLA will be part of this great campaign,” she said.
Further Madam Mutharika extended Malawi Government appreciation for donation of HIV Syphilis duo test kits which she said helped to ease some of the problems and challenges in the Ministry of Health.
She appealed to ALERE to consider making available more of the duo test kits not only in Malawi but across the Continent to save lives.