Thandiwe Mathunjwa, Health Care Director at Cabrini Ministries Swaziland, Speaks at the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS

From the “News and Events” section of the Cabrini Mission Foundation website (www.cabrinifoundation.org):

Cabrini Ministries, St. Philip’s Mission, Swaziland Health Care Director Addresses United Nations Assembly on HIV/AIDS/TB

Thandiwe Mathunjwa is the Director of Cabrini Ministries Health Care Outreach in the Lubombo lowveld of Swaziland. She addressed the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS/TB as one of 24 civil society speakers from around the world. This is the first time the United Nations allowed the civil society representatives to speak directly with the international country delegations so that the final document and direction in dealing with the AIDS pandemic would contain the wisdom and concerns of governments as well as community based, faith based and other non-governmental organization.

Thandiwe received this invitation through UNANIMA International, an NGO in which the Missionary Sisters participate, to present some of our concerns regarding children and AIDS.

In her remarks, Thandiwe implored those in attendance at the UN Special Session, “I ask you to commit yourselves as governments, World Bank and donor nations to make sure that the funding for HIV and TB drugs DOES NOT DRY UP…that the children we need for the future of our countries are allowed to have a future.”

“From our experience – and we believe this to be true in many other countries of Africa, Latin America and Asia – particularly in rural areas – THREE major difficulties are

* Fear of not being able to continue treatment due to lack of free medicine for HIV and TB

* Lack of employment possibilities for sustaining life and hope…in this situation drinking and promiscuous sexual behavior increases

* Lack of infrastructure like roads, clean water, irrigation systems and a fairly priced, regulated transportation system which allows reasonable access to what is available for our children as they grow.”

“We ask the governments to reflect on, act on, and sustain a plan which will bring about sustainability of access to needed medicines AND universal access to a life of productivity and hope through providing the basic infrastructure necessary for living a human life.”


Click on the link below to read a summary of the UNGASS meeting from the UNANIMA International website:

www.unanima-international.org/english/docs/ungass_2006.htm

Also, click on the link below to read a transcript of Thandiwe speaking on a UN Radio program about her visit to the UN:
www.un.org/av/radio/unandafrica/transcript102.htm

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