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Rwanda: Jeannette Kagame Named Global UNAIDS Ambassador for Adolescents

by Williams Buningwire
5:06 pm

First Lady Jeannette Kagame with Michel Sedibe Exuctive Director of UNAIDS

The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has named Rwanda’s First Lady Mrs. Jeannette Kagame Global Special Ambassador for Adolescents Health and Well-Being.

The event coincided with the presentation of Vision and Status of Global HIV Response conference in Kigali on Friday.

According to UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe, it is in recognition of Mrs. Kagame’s outstanding works in ensuring good health and wellbeing of adolescents in Rwanda

“I want to assure you that, UNAIDS, UNICEF and other organizations that invest in Adolescents Health and well-being will certainly leverage your role as the ambassador. Rwanda has come far in fighting this epidemic (HIV/AIDS). It has set good pace for other countries to follow,” he said.

“I remember when I visited this country 18 years ago. The First Lady reflected on how to stop transmission of HIV/AIDS from mother to child. Today figures show that transmission is 1.5% and it has reached 0% in some areas. It is a great improvement.”

Speaking at the event, Mrs. Kagame said that being named Ambassador for Adolescents Health and Well-Being by an institution like UNAIDS that wants to see healthier communities “is something I can’t take lightly, for that I am humbled and sincerely grateful.”

“My involvement to fight HIV/AIDS as well contributing to health and wellbeing of our biggest asset (youth) was inspired by my desire and a duty to leverage my duty as the first lady,”Mrs. Kagame said.

Latest Figures from ministry of health indicate that AIDS related deaths decreased from 6,000 people to 3100 between 2010-2017.

The number of patients under antiretroviral treatment raised from 89,300 to 186,000 in the same period.

New HIV infections reduced from 9300 to 7400 while the number of AIDS orphans decreased from 120,000 to 69,000 between 2010-2017.