Swaziland: Youth taught about AIDS prevention
Submitted by SHARE Administrator on 20 June 2012
19 June 2012
Available on: http://www.observer.org.sz/index.php?news=39884
Source: The Swazi Observer
YOUNG people aged between 15 and 45 under Dvokodvweni Constituency have received lectures on HIV/AIDS prevention from Lusweti Institute for Health Development Communication, AIDS Health Care Foundation and the Swaziland Network for People living with HIV/AIDS.
The talks were also attended by Member of Parliament and cabinet minister, Mtiti Fakudze. Fakudze thanked the organisations for choosing the constituency and hoped that young people’s lives would be changed for the better. He described HIV and AIDS as a major killer. “We had World Vision which left us after 15 years. This affects the development of the constituency and we still wonder why the three organisations chose us. “I think one of the reasons organisations abandon us is that we are too far away from the road, about 15 kilometres in fact.” During the event, many young people did VCT tests.
He also said the constituency desperately needs a clinic to be situated on the Inkhundla premises, saying it would service a number of communities close to the constituency because the nearest clinic was about 20 kilometres away. Fakudze revealed that five chiefs have offered land on which to build the clinic but that it cannot be constructed as of now because there was no money. “The people have to walk long distances to hospital and that had a negative impact on their health. Going to hospital is a nightmare for them because there is also no transport here,” he said. There is no transport connecting the Inkhundla and main road. The road itself is gravel and has been responsible for damaging public transport that comes to the area.
Fakudze predicted that the Dvokodvweni maize harvest would be much lower this year, saying evidence of this was that hungry residents flocked to his home to beg for food. He has since approached a number of organisations for help.
“Apart from food there is also no water as the rivers are so dry. The people seriously need help. I will not be shocked if some can fall sick because they are sharing water with livestock. It is not a healthy thing at all,” he said.
... youth also taught how to live healthy lives
LUSWETI Institute for Health Development Communications is holding a month long campaign to teach people between 15 and 49 years about HIV and AIDS prevention. The exercise started a week ago at Mafutseni. The next stop was Dvokodvweni. Visits are also planned for Nkwene and Ezulwini communities.
Lusweti Media and Youth Coordinator, Calsile Masilela said the campaign has so far been a success because some of the young people even went for voluntary testing and counselling. Masilela said they wanted to ensure that young people have enough information about the disease and how to prevent it. She revealed that research indicated that girls between 15 and 24 years do test for HIV and AIDS but the situation was not the same when it comes to boys.
“This means the girls have sexual intercourse with older and maybe married men, thus as a country we must attend to that. We hope the visits would help address this challenge,” she said. She urged young people to read booklets distributed at Gogo Centres on the prevention of HIV and AIDS.
Related countries: Swaziland
Related themes: HIV prevention