Successful AIDS awareness campaign at Beitbridge Border Post
- Created: Thursday, 01 December 2016 08:01
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Hundreds of local community members and cross border travelers underwent health checks for various diseases during the World Aids Day celebration held at the Beitbridge Border Post.
More than 5 000 male condoms were also distributed by a team of health workers and volunteers during the event. The highest number of condoms were distributed to truck drivers, hawkers, taxi drivers and sex workers.
Musina Mayor, Cllr. Mihloti Muhlope said the event was aimed at encouraging local community members and travelers to live a healthy life while at the same time being faithful to their lovers. Muhlope said the reason why the Beitbridge Border Post was targeted is because there are thousands of travelers who pass through the port of entry on daily basis.
She said the campaign re-affirms the commitment of Musina Municipality to scale-up and intensify the multi-sectoral response to HIV and TB. “That is why we decided to put everything aside to come and make contributions to this important initiative. In order to combat HIV and TB, a collective and multi-prolonged effort is required from all of us.”
She continued: “During the campaign, we taught community members how to use condoms correctly because a condom prevents the transmission of various sexual diseases. We also encouraged people to know their HIV status by testing every three months. We sensitized our people to know the signs and symptoms of various diseases and seek medical help as soon as the first symptoms appear.”
She added that it is up to everyone, collectively and as individuals, to take responsibility for our own health and that of others. “As a nation, we must rise to this challenge, determined and committed and confident that we can succeed. We must combat the stigma associated with HIV and create an environment in which all can feel comfortable to test and be treated. This occasion serves as an important reminder that the epidemic is still with us and that we must do more to increase awareness and to eliminate prejudice.”
Trevor Kaunda, a truck driver who was delivering a cargo from Durban to Zambia through the Beitbridge Border Post said: “This initiative is very good because we don’t get time to do health checks or go into the shops to buy condoms as we spend most of our time in the road. Many lives will really be saved through this move.”