For 4 days (15-18August), Maputo hosted the 32nd summit of Heads of State and governments of the countries belonging to the Southern African Development Community (SADC). It represented an opportunity to celebrate the 20-year life of the regional institution and the recruitment of Mozambique for the rotating presidency of the SADC, until August 2013.
At the same meeting, the first ladies of the 15 SADC countries came together to develop the Declaration of Maputo, “The Prevention of the mother to child transmission of HIV as a guarantee of development in the region”, which has been approved by the SADC Heads of State.
The buzz went off when Olivia started talking. The audience remained silent to listen to her testimony as a HIV-positive woman, of her pregnancy, of the birth of her healthy daughter and her daily work as an activist for DREAM.
The First Ladies of the 15 countries of the Development of Southern Africa (SADC) were moved by the brave words of Olivia. Amongst speeches full of numbers, the words of Olivia sounded like a strong appeal to the humanization of politics, “behind the numbers there are eyes, stories, lives; and I know the names of all patients who come for treatment at the DREAM center, where I work”.
Maria Dai da Luz Guebuza, the wife of the President of the Republic of Mozambique, has embraced Olivia and raised her arm in victory. Olivia, champion of courage, has launched her call for the expansion of the program to prevent the mother-to-child vertical transmission across
Mozambique as well as in all African countries. “What DREAM has done with my life could be done with all African women!”
The slogan of the International event “Zero new HIV infections: it is possible”, has been proved realistic by Olivia and her life as well as by the lives of thousand of women under Vertical Prevention.