Sunday, April 19, 2009

African First Ladies Hold U.S. Health Summit

(photos:  Charlene Muhammad)

Meet Mrs. Chantal Biya, First Lady of Cameroon and Founding President of African Synergy against AIDS and Suffering.

First Lady Biya (shown above left greeting children and other members of the Cameroon community in Los Angeles during a VIP reception for her at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City April 19) is in the United States to convene the African First Ladies Health Summit April 20-21.

This afternoon, approximately 100 eager Cameroon natives and well wishers lined the red carpet, waiting to receive, touch or take a picture with Mrs. Biya.

Although, according to her protocol staff, she had just arrived in the country, she graciously took careful time to greet as many of them as she could, paying special attention to her youngest admirers.

"This was my Michelle Obama moment," exclaimed Andre Manga, a native of Cameroon, who has lived in the U.S. for some 17 years now.  "I am just so proud of her and the work that she is doing with African Synergy," he told The Final Call.

The Summit is being hosted by US Doctors for Africa and will feature 15 First Ladies from African countries, including  Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Comoros, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and more.

Organizers say the Summit will assist the First Ladies in addressing critical issues of HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and girls' education throughout Africa.  Following a press conference and luncheon on Monday, the Summit kicks into a series of workshops that will include health policy experts, political figures and key organizations.

On Tuesday evening at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, US Doctors for Africa and others will commemorate the historic inauguration of the African First Ladies Health Summit and honor the women for their leadership.  

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