South Africa’s Health Minister urges employers to support Breastfeeding mothers in the workplace


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The Minister of Health Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi says the low rate of exclusive breastfeeding in South Africa and many parts of the world is concerning as breastfeeding contributes to child survival.

“It is of great concern that exclusive breastfeeding rates globally and in our country are extremely low. Globally it is estimated that only 36% of moms breastfeed their infants for at least 6 months. In South Africa we estimate that only 39% of mothers breastfeed exclusively for 14 weeks after the baby is born and the figure is much lower at 6 months at only 8%. Our exclusive breastfeeding rates are amongst the lowest in the world. We must all work harder to ensure that we support mothers to exclusively breastfeed for at least six months and rapidly reach a target of at least 50% of mothers breastfeeding for at least 6 months after the infant in born. This will require an extra mile by all of us to encourage and support breastfeeding mothers by improving their workplace and social environment,” said the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. More »

UN Chief plants a special a tree in honour of Mandela Day


UN Chief plants a special a tree in honour of Mandela Day

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon plants a special a tree in honour of Mandela Day in Durban

UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon recently attended the official opening of the International AIDS Conference 2016 in Durban. During his visit, Mr Ban met with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and other senior government officials as well as civil society leaders. The UN Chief addressed media on the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on access to Medicines. More »

UN marks Madiba Day with school children from Atteridgeville

Sefako Makgatho pupils with guests and speakers

Sefako Makgatho Primary pupils 

The UN Information Centre Library in Pretoria was a hive of activity this morning where dozens of school children from Sefako Makgatho Primary School in Attridgeville diplomats, UN partners and members of the public gathered to mark International Nelson Mandela Day.

The focus of the event was a UN donation of 60 school bags to the children, produced by a company called DeskBags which pioneered the idea of a special bag in which children can carry their books and use the hard flap-side of the bag as a lap desk. Made from recycled vinyl billboard materials, the bag flap is reinforced with ABS plastic, ensuring a hard and stable surface for children to write on, and is an innovative solution to the challenge of lack of school desks where children kneel on dusty floors, using the ground as a writing surface. More »

UN commends South Africa for its leading role in tackling HIV and AIDS


UN Secretaty-General Ban Ki-Monn and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

UN Secretaty-General Ban Ki-Monn and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Durban, 18 July 2016 – The Secretary-General today met with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, on the opening day of the AIDS2016 conference in Durban.

The Secretary-General commended South Africa for its progress in the fight against AIDS, particularly in giving access to treatment to people affected by HIV, recalling that the Durban Conference in 2000 had set very good guidelines to achieve such progress. However, he stressed that much remained to be done at the global level to ensure the ending of the epidemic by 2030.

Mr Ramaphosa  expressed appreciation for the support lent by the United Nations, through leadership of the SG and UNAIDS in the fight against HIV and AIDS in South Africa and Globally. He expressed his best wishes to the UNSG for the remainder of his term of office.

The two leaders also discussed a number of regional issues. On South Sudan, they agreed on the importance of regional engagement to find a solution to the conflict. They also expressed their concern regarding the impact on civilians of recent incidents between security forces and the Renamo movement in Mozambique. On Lesotho, the Secretary-General appreciated the mediation efforts by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and on Burundi, he reiterated the need for an inclusive political dialogue, thanking South Africa for its efforts in facilitating such a dialogue. More »

UN Secretary-General commends South Africa’s global leadership in HIV and AIDS fights

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with South Africa's deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon with South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa who is also the Co-Chairperson of the South Africa National Council

South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa this morning paid a courtesy call on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon ahead of the official opening of the 21 International AIDS Conference 2016 in Durban. The courtesy call also falls on the Special International Mandela Day being celebrated in South Africa today. The UNSG commended the progress made in South Africa in fighting the HIV Aids epidemic and said South Africa had offered global leadership in this regard.

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