Address by the Honourable MEC for Health, Dr Magome Masike during the North West Provincial World AIDS Day commemoration held in Boitekong Township in Rustenburg
1 Dec 2010
Hon. Premier, Executive Mayor of the Bojanala Platinum District Municipality, Hon Speaker, Members of the Executive Council, Members of the Provincial Legislature, Mayors, Provincial Political Leadership, Provincial Council on AIDS, Our Governance Structures, Traditional Health Practitioners, Faith Based Organisations, The Private Health Sector, the Mining Community of the Bojanla Platinum District Municipality, NGOs and CBOs, Members of the Media, bagaetsho, bomma le borre, dumelang.
It was during the 2009 World AIDS Day when President Jacob announced that new marching orders, new policy directives and protocols will be issued and that he will expect all of us as South Africans to implement those in this current financial year. We are therefore living the new world order in the fight against AIDS. The 2011 World AIDS Day commemoration is now a day in which we want to see more impact and efforts being made for us to be able to achieve our goals in the fight against AIDS. Today we want to see more people test for HIV and we want to see those who are in need of Antiretroviral Treatment receive it.
This is the day when the whole world comes together to commemorate the heroes and heroines who have fallen as a result of HIV and AIDS. It is also a day when we are all gathered in one place to take stalk of what have been our efforts. We are here to look back and say what have we done to halt the spread of HIV, what have we done to ensure that prevention of HIV is scaled up and what are the outcomes of our concerted efforts in curbing the disease and whether we have achieved.
We need to be walking tall and saying that we have increased access to treatment for the HIV and AIDS infected and affected. Our efforts have to be rights based and avoid discrimination as a result of HIV and AIDS.
We need to be asking Boitekong, le ko kae fa re lwa ntwa e e matlho mahibidu jaana. A le lona le maloko a rona. Kana kgetse ya tsie e kgonwa ke go tshwaraganelwa. A lona baagi ba Boitekong, Rustenburg, Bojanala le Profense ya Bokone Bophirima le tla tshwarisana kgetse e le rona.
We need to work together, support one another as government and communities, as husband and wife, as boyfriend and girlfriend, as private sector and government, with all other key stakeholders like NGOs, CBOs, Traditional Health Practitioners, FBOs, and others.
Partnership must be visible at all times. Husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends are you there with your partner when they go test for HIV or when they go to test for any other illness. How do you support your partners?
One of the key pronouncements made by the President is the HIV counseling and testing (HCT) mass campaign. This was the campaign focusing at motivating the entire nation to go out and test for HIV. The province also had to do likewise and encourage people to go out there and test for HIV. You are not only going to test but the benefits thereof are to access early treatment, to lead a healthy life style, to remain HIV negative if our test results are negative.
As a province we managed to test 414,086 people since the beginning of the campaign. As on Tuesday 23 November 2010, the North West province was the leading province in the number of tests that have been conducted. You must however remember that we have a target of 1 million people that we must test by the end of July 2011. This is contribution to the 15 million that the President has set for the whole country by July 2011. I appreciate the effort made thus far but I challenge you to do more and ensure that we exceed the target.
Re le Lefapha ka tirisano mmogo le baagi ba Bokone Bophirima, re kgonne go nna bafenyi. Re kgonnne gore re nee le batho ba bantsi ba ba dirileng diteko tsa HIV go gaisa Diporofinsi tse dingwe. Re kgonne seno ka ntlha ya seabe sa lona. Ka nnete sedikwa ke ntja pedi ga se thata. Jaaka re kgonne go fithlelela dipalopalo tse, re palelwa ke eng go thibela go anama ga HIV?
Gompieno ke tsosoloso ya go ya go itlhola. Today we are calling all members of our society to recommit themselves and go out to test for HIV. We must maintain the excitement and hype about HIV. We must make everyday World AIDS day and not wait to be brought together to talk about it. Let’s talk about HIV during our social gatherings, distokfel, societies, mens forum, mekgatlho ya borre le bomme, mekgtlho ya dikereke le botlhe. A re se emeleng go tlisiwa mo kgothakgothenge be e le gone rebuang ka HIV.
Prevention is better than cure. We need to prevent new HIV infections. This will reduce the number of people seeking medical treatment. Go diragetseng ka ditlhopa tsa baopedi ba ba neng ba tlhama dipina tsa go thibela bolwetse. Let’s see more sectors get involved.We can all conquer and win. How much resources are needed to prevent new HIV infection compared to those needed to take of the already infected person. We really need to revisit our approach and ensure that we encourage preventive activities. We cannot sustain a department let alone the country health system through curative approaches.
I call upon all people who have tested negative to come out and tell us what is it that they did to remain positive and what is most important is for them to give us their route map of how they are going to remain negative and help us to curb the spread of new infections.
We need to build strong community based support systems for those who are living with the virus. They need us and we all need each other. We need to move away from blame to care, we need to move away from being scared communities but sacred ones, we need to support each other and stop talking fatal language and being judgmental. Our approach need to be rights based and ensure that the rights of all citizens are respected.
I call upon everyone who have not done HIV test t do so. Let us go out in numbers to do our test. This could be today at the testing stations or at your nearest health facility. Remember, it’s your right to know your HIV status, it is also your responsibility to lead a healthy life and this can be achieved through your active participation in the fight against HIV.
We all have rights as much as we all have responsibilities. It is not only the responsibility of the department to protect your rights but it is also your responsibility to protect the rights of others. HIV calls for “Shared rights shared responsibilities”.
Its really time to self introspect and when you do so ask yourself this question, “What is my contribution to building a healthy nation?”
I wish you all a good day.
I thank you!
Issued by: North West Health
1 Dec 2010
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