I’ll begin by thanking Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and his team at the Department of Health for inviting me to give a message of support on behalf of USAID and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; better known to most of you as PEPFAR. It is an honor for me to join you today to mark World Prematurity Day. Maternal and child health is a significant focus of the U.S. government throughout Southern Africa. USAID works closely with many South African partners on maternal and child HIV prevention and care and treatment programs, with a strong emphasis on reducing mother to child transmission, and safeguarding orphans and vulnerable children.
As we have already heard this morning, South Africa is burdened by one of the most severe TB epidemics in the world. Additionally, South Africa has the greatest burden of HIV-infected individuals - and the TB and HIV epidemics are fueling each other.
I am honored and humbled, to be here with you on the anniversary of such a catastrophic event. Thank you for allowing me to pay my respects and solemnly represent the people of the United States.
I would like to thank the Honorable Minister Bathabile Dlamini for the opportunity to participate in this important conference and to highlight how essential it is for children and youth who are affected by HIV and AIDS to continue being a priority in our efforts to mitigate the effects of HIV and AIDS. The U.S. Government and the American people, through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (or PEPFAR), are proud to be in partnership with the Department of Social Development in supporting this groundbreaking conference. We believe in the power of partnership and this conference has been a true partnership.
No generation is spared the catastrophic consequences of the AIDS pandemic. From newborn babies of HIV-positive mothers to elderly caregivers, the disease does not discriminate. One of the most tragic consequences is the toll on our children.
Last updated: December 05, 2016