International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women


“We stand in solidarity with like-minded organisations and individuals to condemn Violence Against Women as it remains the most widespread violation of human rights. While we acknowledge significant progress and commitments made to address violence against women and girls, the fact that 35% of women and girls globally experience some form of physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime, with up to 7 in 10 women facing abuse in some countries (UN Women, 2019) is most unacceptable in this century! Such statistics call for bolder urgency in actions to preserve women and girls right to bodily autonomy, agency and freedom from all forms of violence. Sexual violence robs women and girls of their dignity, riddling survivors lives with pain and adversity – often lasting a lifetime. This year as we commemorate the 16 Days Campaign we call on Governments, Organisations, Communities and Individuals to make conscious deliberate efforts to redress systematic and institutionalised gender inequalities and injustices which continue to fuel physical and sexual violence” Ms. Rouzeh Eghtessadi, SAfAIDS Executive Director

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SAfAIDS Statement on Universal Children’s Day

“Today, and throughout the year, we celebrate brave and inspiring children from across the globe who have made ground breaking contributions towards development of other children and the entire human race. Children are our greatest resource and humanity’s best hope for the future; decisions and investments that we make today will determine our children’s future, and ultimately the future of our humanity. Children will inherit the innovations, technology and milestones that we have developed in this generation, unfortunately they will also inherit all the negative outcomes and consequences of war, poverty, limited health care and access to education, child labour and all forms of abuse. As we celebrate this day, we acknowledge positive transformation and development in areas of civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children – while simultaneously we need to critically reflect on the gaps, and areas we have failed to ensure that every child has a right to dignity, basic human rights and security. We cannot claim sustainable development without tangible action and investment towards the holistic development of children. We owe every child a happy and safe childhood!”    Ms. Rouzeh Eghtessadi, SAfAIDS Executive Director

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SAfAIDS Statement on International Men’s Day 2019

“International Men’s Day is designed to promote positive role models in society and develop wholesome individuals. When we make investments towards promoting individual and collective development of key groups in our respective communities, including men and boys, we are able to effectively address key challenges including high incidence of HIV infection, reproductive health challenges, sexual gender-based violence and gender inequalities in different sectors….and make giant steps towards achieving and sustaining development at a global scale. International Men’s Day encourages men to lead by example; boys need positive male role models. Our broader community also needs positive male role models. This is the best strategy to create a fair and safe society which allows everyone the opportunity to flourish and reach their fullest potential.” Rouzeh Eghtessadi, SAfAIDS Executive Director

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SAfAIDS Statement on World Mental Health Day


SAfAIDS Statement on World Mental Health Day

10 October 2019

“The stigma and shame surrounding mental health continues to deter many of us in the development sector from boldly addressing it. For SRH outcomes to be sustained, psychosocial well-being, affirming dignity for persons with mental health challenges and policy advocacy to destigmatise mental health issues, is imperative to the human and social development we aspire for in our region.” Ms Rouzeh Eghtessadi, SAfAIDS Acting Executive Director.

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SAfAIDS Statement on International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC


SAfAIDS Statement on International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC) 


“Our Girls, Our Gems”


11th October 2019


“SAfAIDS joins like-minded stakeholders in commemorating IDGC2019; amplifying and reaffirming commitment towards gender equality and unlocking equal opportunities for girls in health, education and leadership, amongst other critical sectors. Our girls are a distinct cohort of our society. When we invest in nurturing a brave, resilient, innovative, educated and skilled girl child, we have invested in a society which is progressively rooted in sustainable development,” Ms. Rouzeh Eghtessadi, SAfAIDS Acting Executive Director

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SAfAIDS Statement on International Safe Abortion Day (ISAD) 2019



SAfAIDS Statement on International Safe Abortion Day (ISAD) 

28 September 2019



“As we commemorate ISAD2019, SAfAIDS urges policy makers to exercise their obligation of ensuring policy spaces facilitate access to safe abortion by ALL women. Policy makers have an enshrined duty to enable adolescent girls and young women to enjoy their fundamental right to freedom of choice, autonomy, and physical and psychosocial wellbeing. Beyond moralization and judgement; denial of access to safe, legal and unrestricted abortion services is a direct contradiction to the pursuit of Saving Lives, Preserving Dignity and the Human Development agenda of all States. A win-win is enjoyed by both States and their communities and populace, where safe abortion access, and contraceptive access, is effected. More girls and young women completing their education, less  women dying due to unsafe abortion related complications, lowered burden on health economies, and increase in young women contributing to socioeconomic development of their communities – are among the bigger picture wins, pivotal to this SRHR advocacy agenda.” Ms Rouzeh Eghtessadi, Acting Executive Director, SAfAIDS 

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SAfAIDS Statement on World Tuberculosis Day 2019

Each year, 24 March is commemorated as World Tuberculosis (TB) Day; the Day is set aside to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB and to scale up collective global efforts to end the TB epidemic. According to the WHO 2018 Report, TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer with daily mortality and morbidity rates of nearly 4500 and 30000 respectively. WHO TB Reports from the year 2000 to 2018 highlight that global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 54 million lives and reduced the TB mortality rate by 42%. However, although the disease is preventable and curable, TB prevalence remains alarmingly high, with the heaviest burden being borne by low and middle income countries; with 9 SADC member states being listed as part of the 30 High TB burden countries (WHO 2018). Hence the need for strengthened collective global awareness-raising to prevent the disease.  

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