The new country director of the United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) Dr Medhin Tsehaiu has commended First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for her leading role in the fight against the disease in the country.
Dr Tsehaiu who was appointed in July this year said First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, through the Beyond Zero Initiative, has contributed significantly to the reduction of new HIV infections especially the mother-to child-transmission of the virus.
“I have to congratulate you for your leadership and commitment in our efforts to eliminate mother-to-child-transmission of HIV. We are so grateful for your support,” Dr Tsehaiu told the Kenyan First Lady when she paid her a courtesy call at State House Nairobi.
Dr. Tsehaiu updated the First Lady on her organization’s ambitious plans to slow the spread of the disease by ensuring that by 2020, 90 percent of people living with HIV will know their status, be put on antiretroviral therapy and have their viral loads suppressed.
The country director said Kenya is making good progress in the fight against the disease and urged innovative approaches that appeal more to the youth who are a high risk population.
“The country is moving on the right track because of the commitment and good leadership. As we approach the last mile, we need to do things differently and in an innovative way,” Dr Tsehaiu said.
The First Lady Margaret Kenyatta assured the country director of her firm commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“As always you can count on my support as regards to this noble initiative,” the First Lady said adding that the successes achieved in recent years including the reduction in infections among adults by almost half form 101,000 to 46,000 cases last year should be sustained.
Earlier, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta held talks with the chief executive officer of the Elephant Protection Initiative Foundation (EPI) Miles Anthony Sloan Geldard.
The Elephant Protection Initiative is an umbrella organization that brings together 20 African countries determined to end the poaching of elephants.
Mr Geldard who commended the First Lady for her leading role in the conservation of elephants in Kenya also briefed her on the recent meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which took place in Switzerland.
The First Lady expressed satisfaction with the progress made towards the ban of ivory trade worldwide and assured Mr Geldard of her continued commitment to the conservation agenda.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and her Sierra Leone counterpart Fatima Maada Bio were appointed to the Leadership Council of the Elephant Protection Initiative that is chaired by the former President of Botswana Ian Khama.