Ottawa Citizen Profiles U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Mataka
Kate Heartfield, a member of the Ottawa Citizen's editorial board, on Tuesday profiled United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Elizabeth Mataka, who was appointed to the post in May by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mataka, is a social worker, member of several HIV/AIDS organizations in Zambia and vice chair of the board of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, according to Heartfield. Mataka recently spoke about the need for leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized nations to remain committed to the goal of providing universal access to antiretroviral drugs, as well as the need for African women to gain social and economic power to help prevent the spread of HIV, Heartfield writes. "The job of a special envoy is really just a platform," Heartfield writes, adding that the position's "influence depends on the energy of the person holding the position." She concludes that whether Mataka will be a "successful advocate for the people of Africa depends largely on her ability to withstand the contrast between tragedy and indifference, day in and day out, and never despair" (Heartfield, Ottawa Citizen, 6/12).
The article is available online.