The commitment to action will be managed and executed through the college's Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement. The center's two directors, the director of civic engagement and the director of international programs, as well as MBC President Pamela Fox, will serve as advisors for the commitment, monitoring goals at monthly meetings. In addition, student CGI commitment leaders, as well as other faculty and staff will help guide and direct the various projects and partnerships.
OAFLA anticipates an expansion of PMTCT programs at the chapter level of respective countries. We expect that women will be more informed about PMTCT services available to them and be ready to access them with the support of men in their lives. In addition, OAFLA expects that stigma will be reduced by individuals (both men and women) becoming more aware that HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence, but can be managed like any other disease. And with the reduction of stigmas around HIV/AIDS, OAFLA anticipates that women will be more empowered to take their reproductive health into their own hands, by utilizing the new female condom which is more user-friendly. Through the OAFLA interventions, countries can be able to implement best practice methods and provide free ARV's. With a robust monitoring and evaluation system in place, OAFLA is confident that its programs will be responsive to the needs of its members by reviewing the organization's strategies to ensure that they are on target.
The Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) will enhance the expansion of programs and funding for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) activities on the African continent, create awareness of PMTCT in vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, prompt governments and development agencies to establish better infrastructure in maternal and child health as well as prompt men to Participate in PMTCT interventions.
To contribute towards the prevention of HIV/AIDS in children, OAFLA has committed to prioritizing the Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) as a strategy for HIV/AIDS prevention. The campaign, which was adopted during the OAFLA 5th Ordinary General Assembly on 2nd July 2007 in Accra, will be implemented by 40 African First Ladies in their respective countries. The campaign's objective is to eradicate the spread of HIV/AIDS in children by advocating for programs that will reduce Mother-to-Child Transmission. Robust PMTCT programs would prevent millions of deaths and help create a future generation free of HIV and AIDS.
The Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) has had cordial relationships with the Clinton Foundation since its inception. In May 2005 in Lusaka, the Clinton Foundation committed to providing pediatric ARVs to the African Continent through OAFLA. This early support from the Clinton Foundation has encouraged OAFLA in its ongoing work, and has helped engage private sector and foundation partners in supporting the commitment of the First Lady of Zambia at the September 2007 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.
January 2008- March 2008
Regional Launches of 'Save the Unborn Child First Ladies' Campaign.'
October 2007-December 2007
- Dynamic campaign materials will be developed.
- Country launches will be done on World AIDS Day (December 1st, 2007)
- The main objective of the OAFLA intervention will be to utilize a dynamic advocacy campaign strategy, called 'Save the Unborn Child First Ladies' Campaign' to create the urgent awareness among African women that accessing PMTCT services in their respective regions at the right time can save millions of babies from being infected with the HIV/AIDS virus. The intervention will be coordinated by the OAFLA Secretariat and implemented by member countries. Other HIV/AIDS activities in line with the OAFLA strategic plan and national frameworks that will be carried out can be supported with grants and OAFLA's new fundraising activities.
Measure of Success:
Mary Baldwin College will measure the success of the commitment by (1) the amount of volunteers and the amount of volunteer hours at the local and national sites, (2) funds and clothing donated for the global site, (3) feedback from participants and/or staff and teachers at the three partner institutions, and (4) the number of people (local community and college community) in attendance at awareness-raising programs.
The Commitment to Action will be implemented through the secretariat of OAFLA whose activities are overseen by the OAFLA Steering Committee comprising elected members namely; the President, Vice President and 2 representatives from each of the 5 sub-Regions.
1. Promotion of effective Prevention Strategies through the following activities:
a. Advocate for the expansion and promotion of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) programs.
b. Promotion of user-friendly female condom and microbicides.
c. Fight harmful social practices that perpetuate the spread of HIV/AIDS.
d. Advocate for increased activities to expand HIV/AIDS testing.
2. Advocacy for the expansion of effective HIV/AIDS Treatment, Care and Support strategies through the following:
a. Call for increased access to free ARVs.
b. Support the expansion of Home Based Care Programs.
c. Support and implement the development and expansion of programs for care and Support of Orphans
and Vulnerable Children. (OVC)
3. Support for the organizational capacity of OAFLA.
a. Convene OAFLA for Professional Development of emerging Leaders.
b. Support the Evaluation of OAFLA activities since 2002.
c. Support to OAFLA Secretariat.
- MBC students have begun a campus-wide organization called MBC/CGI-U: Save the girls around the globe.
- Service trips will occur over the fall break, spring break, and May term to the designated locations.
- A speaker series throughout the year on human trafficking has been scheduled. A goal of $10,000 is targeted for the intended areas and institutions.
While interventions aimed at curbing the HIV/AIDS pandemic on the African continent are being devised all the time, concerted effort towards perfecting prevention strategies on the continent is paramount. And one of most promising prevention strategies is reducing Mother-to-Child transmissions.
Mother-to-Child Transmission is the main cause of HIV/AIDS infection children below 15. About 35% of infants from HIV-positive mothers globally acquire the virus during pregnancy, labor, delivery or breastfeeding. In 2005, fewer than 11% of women in developing countries were estimated to have access to services to prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission. Without scaling-up prevention interventions, including pre-natal mother-to-child transmission services, it is estimated that by 2010 there will be an additional 3.4 million children under 15 living with HIV and AIDS.
As an organization, OAFLA has developed partnerships with organizations such as UNAIDS, PEPFAR, Clinton Global Initiative, UNICEF, UNFPA and various local organizations situated in the countries of OAFLA members. OAFLA has been able to raise funds through UNAIDS/PEPFAR, as well as membership contributions to facilitate program activities and the organization is looking to scale up and expand its interventions through gaining access to additional funds.