First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today joined the few dignitaries who have so far acquired the new Pan African Passport.
She received her new Common African Union Passport on the sidelines of the 10th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostrate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference that opened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia .
The new passport which was unveiled by the continental body during the recent AU summit in Kigali, Rwanda allows its holders free movement across the 54 countries of Africa.
The First Lady received her new passport from the Acting AU chairperson Erastus Mwencha. Only a few Heads of State have so far acquired the new travel document.
The All-Africa passport now turns the continent into a borderless region and promises a solution to problems standing on the way of intra-Africa trade and the movement of businesspeople, tourists and workers across the continent
The new document now allows free movement in a region in which half of the 54 African countries require entry visas. These visas can take days or weeks to apply and process including for people who need them at short notice including the media people.
Elsewhere, the First Lady joined four other of her colleagues to tour the Woreda 3 Health Centre in Kigali that specializes in the treatment and care of cancer patients including children.
The First Lady joined her Ethiopian Host Mrs Roman Tesfaye and the First Ladies of Mozambique, Chad and Djibouti to tour the Satellite Medical facility that also serves as a training centre for oncology students from Addis Ababa University College of Health Sciences.
The Satellite Health Centre is a project of the Ethiopian First Lady aimed at decongesting the Black Lion Referral Hospital that deals with cancer patients.
According to the Health Centre’s Medical Officer In-charge Dr. W. Tigeneh, only the more serious cases are referred to the Black Lion Hospital whereas the other patients are cared for at the Woreda 3 Health centre by visiting doctors and in-house nurses.
The Health Centre is largely an out-patiient facility although it has about 20 beds for patients awaiting referral to the Black Lion Hospital.