(Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) and the
Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA)
on Monday launched a new campaign, aiming to help end
childhood AIDS in Africa by 2030 and keep mothers
The new campaign is expected to
support the continent’s efforts to prevent new
infections and childhood deaths.
The campaign, launched during the
OAFLA General Assembly on the sideline of the 30th
AU summit, aims to unite people and organizations at
local and global levels to advance healthcare delivery
that will contribute to ending childhood AIDS, according
to the AU.
To achieve its goal, the campaign will
first focus on 2020 global targets for the elimination
of mother-to-child transmission as outlined in the AU’s
catalytic framework to end AIDS, TB and eliminate
malaria in Africa by 2030.
“While Africa has made unprecedented
progress in responding to the AIDS epidemic, the
response to childhood AIDS is lagging behind,” said
Roman Tesfaye, first lady of Ethiopia and president
“To end the AIDS epidemic in Africa,
we must act now to prioritize the use of knowledge
and the implementation of tools that exist, to keep
children AIDS-free and their mothers healthy,” she
said. “Preventing new HIV infections will transform
Africa’s broader health and development agenda and
provide our children with a healthy and hopeful
There are up to 1.4 million children
living with HIV in Africa south of the Sahara, which is
over half of all children living with HIV globally,
according to the AU.
Children are at greater risk of the
potentially fatal consequences of HIV than any other age
group, and detection and treatment levels remain low,
said the AU.
Of the total number of children living
with HIV, around 50 percent are not receiving treatment,
and of these untreated children 50 percent die before
they are 2 years old, it said.
The campaign will drive for increased
investments to strengthen health systems and achieve
maximum impact where the burden is highest, said Marie-Goretti
Harakeye, who heads AU’s Division for AIDS, TB, Malaria
and Other Infectious Diseases.