MEC Dhlomo to lead the 22nd World AIDS Day Commemoration in Amajuba
25 Nov 2010
The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, will lead civil society and government’s commemoration of the 2010 World AIDS Day at a function to be held in Amajuba FET College on 1 December 2010.
“World AIDS Day is a day when people from around the world come together within a single effort,” says the MEC Dr Dhlomo. “HIV and AIDS affect not only the individual but the entire community. As more and more teachers die from HIV and AIDS, children are robbed of an education. Breadwinners dying of HIV and AIDS are unable to provide food for their families. It is a devastation that we cannot stand by and see it is tearing families and communities apart.”
The province is at the top with 39.5 percent HIV prevalence rate among the nine provinces in the country. There is a higher HIV prevalence amongst the ages 15 to 29 years with a rising trend amongst the ages of 10 to 14 years. After HIV and AIDS, related illness causing mortality in the province is tuberculosis. The province has a youthful population with 70 percent of the population below the age of 35 years. Realising that the province has the highest disease burden associated with underdevelopment and poverty, government sought to do things differently.
Government prioritised a development process of communities, where individuals become owners of development, helping to shape it and its outcomes. By placing the community at the centre of wellness, creation of mechanisms and relationships between the state, civil society structures, Community organisations, business and ordinary community members was seen as important.
A Government flagship programme came into being where all government departments work militarily to address all social challenges of communities. Government also put its Members of the Executive Council (MECs) to lead the various districts as champions for development. The MEC for Health is a Champion in the Amajuba District.
The district has a HIV prevalence rate of around 37.3 percent (2009) which is a decline from 46 percent in 2006 (39.3 percent in 2007and 34.7 in 2008). Government has introduced a number of initiatives to curb the spread of the pandemic. These include the HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) and the Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) Campaign to add to its prevention arsenal.
The MEC will be joined by the Mayors, Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPL), Councillors, business leaders, faith based leaders and various stakeholders from civil society organisations. Journalists are invited to the event to be held as follows:
Date : 1 December 2010
Venue: Madadeni College Sport Grounds, Emadadeni
The MEC continues; “If we are to beat AIDS we must indeed act, and the time to act is now.
The challenge for all of us is to make good on our commitments and work in closer partnership towards our common goal. Civil society, NGOs, the media, private sector and faith groups has an important role in promoting behaviour change and holding each other to account for our promises.”
The theme for this World AIDS Day is; “We are responsible”. It is an extension from 2009 theme. It seeks to encourage all citizens to take personal and collective responsibility. The province seeks to counsel and test 3 million people for HIV by end June 2011 as part of its efforts to curb the spread and for people to take responsibility for their own health.
For more information contact:
Tel: 034 328 7000
Cell: 083 267 1614
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Health
25 Nov 2010
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