Harry hears about Angola’s efforts to tackle rising HIV figures

The Duke of Sussex has been told about Angola’s determination to tackle the rising levels of HIV in the country.

Angola’s first lady Ana Dias Lourenco gave Harry a briefing on the Born Free To Shine initiate she is spearheading when he visited the presidential palace in the capital Luanda.

The project is focused on preventing HIV/Aids transmission from mothers to babies and addresses both the medical and socio-educational issues around HIV and Aids which are still taboo issues in Angola.

Speaking through an interpreter, she told him: “In Angola we are committed to the eradication of HIV transmission, statistics in our country are very concerning.

“The programme is aimed at making children all free to shine.”

Despite the country’s low infection rate, other factors such as high fertility and a young population, combined with a lack of awareness, are driving infection rates up, and rates of mother-to-baby transmission are the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.

Earlier, Harry was welcomed by a small guard of honour when he arrived for an audience with President Joao Lourenco at the palace.

Harry meets Angolan leader
Harry with Joao Lourenco and First Lady Ana Dias Lourenco at the presidential palace in Luanda (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The two men spent around 30 minutes talking and it is likely one of the topics of conversation was Angola’s decision to commit £48 million to the effort to rid large swathes of the country of landmines.

Mr Lourenco has served as president of Angola since September 2017, having been defence minister from 2014 to 2017.

The duke and the country’s leader later posed for a picture and shook hands before being joined by their entourages for further pictures.

Harry will leave Angola and begin a tour of Malawi on Sunday – the final leg of his trip – without wife Meghan who is in South Africa with son Archie.

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