Nigeria’s First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, in a recent high-level pre-conference meeting of the 22nd International Conference on AIDS and STI in Africa, ICASA, highlighted current challenges and the need for sustained efforts in combating HIV/AIDS.
The meeting, organized by the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development, served as a platform for discussing strategies to address the epidemic.
In a statement signed by the SA Media to the First Lady of the Federal republic of Nigeria, Busola Kukoyi, Senator Tinubu acknowledged the progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS but stressed that the battle is far from over, especially in a populous nation like Nigeria, which has over 200 million people.
She expressed optimism, however, noting that there is still much hope for eradicating the disease.With the backing of her husband, President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, Senator Tinubu reaffirmed a commitment to reinvigorating efforts across all sectors, including the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The First Lady further outlined an ambitious plan for Nigeria to achieve the triple elimination of HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis.”We are now more committed than ever. HIV/AIDS should have been long gone”, the First Lady declared, emphasizing the need for a renewed push to tackle the disease head-on.
She identified key issues such as insecurity and stigmatization as obstacles to be addressed and vowed to work closely with other state First Ladies to mobilize action.
As an advocate for girl child education, Senator Tinubu also mentioned her Renewed Hope Initiative, which aims to “find all, test all, and treat all” affected individuals, aspiring to meet this goal well ahead of the 2030 deadline.The host country’s First Lady, Dr. Auxillia Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, also spoke at the event, calling for the inclusion of men and boys as a crucial demographic in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
She emphasized the rights of children living with HIV/AIDS to receive the best care and access to child-friendly antiretroviral drugs.
The ICASA meeting serves as a reminder of the collective responsibility and urgency required to combat HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections across Africa.