On Monday, July 22, 2019, the First Lady of Burundi, Her Excellency Denise Nkurunziza pursued her campaign to mobilize administrative, religious and health officials from the northern region on the themes of eliminating the transmission of HIV from the mother to child, prevention and management of infertility and family planning. In the workshop held at Ruhuka Hotel in Ngozi Province, were present northern provincial governors, heads of health districts and representatives of religious denominations from the provinces of NGOZI, MUYINGA, KIRUNDO and KAYANZA. The meeting also included the Minister of Public Health and AIDS and the Minister of Education, Technical and Vocational Training and the UNFPA Resident Representative.
In her speech, the First Lady reminded that in October 2018, in the same province of Ngozi, Burundi joined the Organization of African First Ladies against AIDS (OAFLA) to launch the “Free to Shine” campaign. The campaign aimed to contribute to the prevention of new HIV infections and infant mortality, helping to end AIDS among children in Africa by 2030 and to preserve the health of mothers. The First Lady also indicated that the workshop is organized to evaluate the step already taken in the fight against AIDS, especially in this northern region.
According to the report from the Ministry of Public Health and AIDS, there is a small reduction in early pregnancy in some provinces, but there is a long way to go. For the First Lady, the country cannot develop if the health of the population is not controlled. “We must all renew our commitment to the fight against unwanted pregnancies, early marriages, which are primary causes of the fragility of girls’ health”, said Her Excellency Denise Nkurunziza. She also urged administrators and parents to properly hold the youth during this holiday period.
On the issue of infertility, the First Lady said that this issue has long been a taboo subject in Burundian culture and the responsibility for infertility lies solely with the woman.
“Households are dislocated because of infertility, the causes of which are often unknown, and the woman is often made to feel guilty and driven out of the home. We must all understand that women are more than mothers, that they are active members of society and must be respected as such”, said the Spouse of the Head of State.
On this topic, participants proposed the creation of a treatment and counseling center for infertility cases.