First lady of France Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will travel to Burkina Faso next week on her first trip as goodwill ambassador for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, officials said Wednesday.
Bruni will during the one-day trip next Wednesday visit a hospital in the capital Ouagadougou and meet mothers and their children infected by the HIV virus that causes AIDS.
AdvertisementShe will also meet with health officials and charity workers and visit a centre that provides HIV-testing in the West African state that the United Nations ranks as as the world's third poorest country.
Burkina Faso managed to bring down HIV infections from 7.4 percent in 1997 to 2 percent in 2005, according to a 2008 UN report that said that increasing use of condoms had helped reduce the rate.
Bruni, the wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy, agreed in November to become a goodwill ambassador for the protection of mothers and children against AIDS.
Based in Geneva, the Global Fund oversees hundreds of programmes in 136 countries through public-private partnerships that have raised more than 11 billion dollars.
Bruni, who married Sarkozy a year ago, expressed an interest in work to battle HIV following a visit to South Africa, which has one of the world's largest AIDS caseloads.
The supermodel-turned-singer has said she hoped her status as French first lady could be used to advance a worthy global cause.