Different stakeholders, including the Ehlanzeni Municipality, and Departments such as Education, Social Development, Health, the Hospice Palative Care Association (HPCA) and others, gathered at the Protea Hotel outside Hazyview in an attempt to find collective solutions to the increasing statistics of HIV and Tuberculosis (TB) in three day-long HIV Prevention Summit from Wednesday, the 3rd of April until Friday.
The Ehlanzeni district municipality Manager responsible for HIV prevention programmes, Themba Ndaba said; “We have gathered here today as different stakeholders to find a common solution to contribute to the reduction of HIV and TB. We want to look at the progress we have made so far from the last summit and find ways to improve collectively”.
“Our of our main functions as a district municipality is to support local municipalities in their fight against HIV & TB prevention, so we are here today because we know that both HIV and TB are still a huge challenge in the whole country. We have seen in the past with HIV being one of the lead diseases, but we have also realised that TB has become more deadly than HIV, and we all know that the two mentioned diseases are closely related,” he added.
Shonisani Masutha from HPCA told Bushbuckridge News; “Our main objective today is to make it a point that we have strategies that speak on prevention of new transmission of HIV, possible transmissions that might occur within your key populations and those living with HIV infected people, and therefore we’re looking forward to all stakeholders to equally participate to have strategies and mechanisms on what they can do differently from what has been done by the Department of Health, for example; index testing”.
The acting chairperson of the Bushbuckridge Men’s Sector, Kgahlišo Mashego emphasised the need for sex education in schools. He also said that teachers should also be trained on this topics; “Our children should be taught about sexual intercourse from an early age, and also, as parents we shouldn’t hide the truth about their health statuses and the consequences of engaging in sexual activities, that way we will be able to reduce the number of HIV and teenage pregnancy victims because some children become sexually active from as young as eight years of age. The Department of Education, as well as our mayor should join hands with the civil society and Men’s Sector, that way we will reduce the statistics”.