Source: IPP Media
African First Ladies have been urged to address challenges that are likely to set back women's chances to access basic education and health in their countries in efforts to empower them.

Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) Tanzania's Co- Director Lydia Wilbard told the African First Ladies Summit in Dar es Salaam yesterday that although the country has registered progress in empowering women, more needed to be done by African First Ladies to fight challenges facing women in the continent, notably access to education and health services.

"Yes, we need to invest in early child education as well," she said.
Pam Allyn, executive Founder and director of LitWorld said access to basic education and health among women is a big challenge in most African countries, hence key players and partners must come together to address it.

"We need to strengthen partnerships and private involvement in the fight," said Dr Christine Kaseba, First Lady of Zambia.

Beyond politics, she said first ladies have 'a convincing power in mobilising good gender policies' that can help scale-down new infections.

Dr Kaseba added that First Ladies also have a chance to change the society and what they need is "a national strategic plan that demonstrates a point of care."
She called for effective utilisation of resources to ensure availability of social services in communities.

The host of the summit, First Lady Salma Kikwete said the combination of Pink and Red Ribbon initiative developed by the Bush Institute will help reduce cervical cancer.

Speaking of access to education for women, she said empowering women with basic education helps them address most of their problems.

President for Merck Vaccinnes, Julie Gerberding pledged to provide 16 new radiation therapies for cervical cancer treatment in Tanzania while Bristol-Myers Squibb representative based in South Africa announced provision of about USD 1.4 million to the country to implement various community based projects and initiatives to protect women from contracting cervical cancer.

Globally, nearly 530,000 women, 85 percent of them in developing countries, contract cervical cancer every year, with death claiming 275,000 of them.
Breast cancer is diagnosed in an estimated 1.6 million women per year and is the cause of death of 425,000 women globally.

Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED)

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