Speaking at national television, Orango said that the date for the funeral was yet to be set. Mrs. Bongo had been hospitalised in Morocco for several months and her condition reportedly began deteriorating in the last one month.
Who was Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba ?
President Omar Bongo Ondimba’s wife, Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba, was a doctor herself and has taken a keen personal interest in the Africa-wide efforts to combat AIDS.
Edith Bongo Ondimba tackles AIDS
President Omar Bongo Ondimba’s wife, Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba, was a doctor herself and has taken a keen personal interest in the Africa-wide efforts to combat AIDS. Mrs Bongo Ondimba agreed there is no "magic solution" to the deadly pandemic.
"The Aids problem has been around for about 23 years, and this is why a group of 30 to 40 people will not work out a magic solution with a magic wand in a period of 12 months," the first lady of Gabon, Bongo Ondimba said on Gabon television. Edith Lucie Bongo, the First Lady of Gabon, was the former president of the Organization of the First ladies of Africa against HIV (OPDAS) and one of its five-member steering committee.
The organisation is governed by a steering committee, comprised of a First Lady from each of the five sub-regions of Africa. They include Mrs. Bongo Ondimba of Gabon (representing Central Africa) ; Mrs. Theresa Kufuor of Ghana (representing West Africa) ;
« That is why we use all the experience available in african countries to provide us with the necessary skills and knowledge. A year ago first ladies held a meeting in Geneva where we talked about HIV/Aids. This was an opportunity to take stock of what has been done this far », she added.
« We have built some partnerships over the past months. The group is working with the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation to produce a booklet and documentary film on Aids education », said Mrs Bongo Ondimba.
She added that the first ladies have agreed that a minimum membership fee of $5 000 should be paid annually to boost their resources. "We are talking about organization and structural matters. We are trying to get all the first ladies in Africa into the structures of our organization."
Aids has featured in several discussions and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for more help from developed countries. Africa is the most affected continent with almost 30 million people infected with the disease and some 2.4 million Aids deaths. Southern Africa is suffering the most with between 20% and 40% of infected people. The IMF warned in a document that the disease could cripple the continent’s economic development.
The wide-spread pandemic also has ripple effects such as increasing joblessness, declining productivity and a shocking number of Aids orphans and child-led households.
Recognizing the urgency of the HIV/AIDS epidemic within Africa, the First Gabonese lady pledged to make concrete contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS through advocacy, networking and resource mobilization and committed to focus particular attention on vulnerable groups, including women, children, youth and persons infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
The First Ladies organization will be a powerful catalyst for action against AIDS. Their collective voice have sent a strong message in their own countries, across Africa, and around the world. The International AIDS Trust is proud to be a partner in this vitally important effort.
Mrs Bongo Ondimba launched a new glance for the future of the children
Mrs Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba was known for her labor force and her whole availability in Gabon as has the foreigner in favor of the children handicap, in particular, and the fight against the AIDS.
She was at the origin of the concretization of several human activities and brings its assistance for the Foundation Horizons Nouveaux which she created. For several years, she has taken part in the combat for the social equality while working for peace in the African countries, guarantees essential for the serenity of the blooming of the children.
Mrs. Bongo Ondimba had participated with the launching of this continental organization. She points out that the national programme of fight against AIDS (PNLS) locates today the prevalence at the HIV in Gabon with 7,7% in Libreville.
The action of Mrs. Bongo Ondimba is the prevention and the total medical follow-up and free treaitment of the people reached by the AIDS. The Foundation Horizons Nouveaux was set up in 1996 on the initiative of Mrs. Edith-Lucie Bongo Ondimba to help handicaped children. The Foundation help the intellectual defective young people.
In 8 years, the Foundation passed from 16 to nearly 100 collaborators. The Foundation stands on a surface of 1,2 hectare of which the half is made up of parks and entertaining surfaces. The Foundation has two specialized schools being able to accommodate 200 children.
Structure has average size and accommodates the Gabonese children coming from all the social live styles. The objectives of the centre go from the schooling of the unsuited children in priority as the multiform assistance of children in distress, to professional insertion with assistance and equipment.
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