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AIDS programmes excluded

Filed under: Breaking News,Health & Nutrition |

Southern province AIDS Coordinator William Sikazwe says some contractors working on various Infrastructure development projects in the area are not mainstreaming HIV awareness programmes in their projects.

Mr Sikazwe said although the government funds a component of HIV awareness on the Roads Project some contractors are not conducting any HIV awareness activities with their employees.

Speaking in an interview in Choma on February 24, 2015, Mr Sikazwe said HIV was a development issue that had the potential to negatively affect the positive economic strides that the government was putting in place if left unchecked.

He said the Provincial AIDS Task Force (PATF) with support from the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) conducted an assessment to establish the extent to which contractors were utilizing funds for HIV awareness.

Mr Sikazwe said PATF has the responsibility to ensure that all developments taking place in the province become alive to the challenge of HIV.

He has however called on the contractors to partner with local HIV service organizations to ensure that awareness was created among their employees.

“There is need for contractors to partner with local HIV service organizations to ensure that adequate awareness on HIV is created among the workers who leave their families behind to work in other areas”, he said

Mr Sikazwe said the HIV prevalence rate in the rural parts of the province was lower than in urban areas as such interaction of the rural community with those from urban areas working on the roads might increase the spread of HIV.

“Vigorous HIV awareness programmes must be implemented wherever road projects are being conducted to ensure that the interaction between the project and community does not increase HIV prevalence rate in rural areas”, he said

Mr Sikazwe said the PATF has strengthened DATF operations in Choma district to respond to the increased population since its declaration as the provincial headquarters

He said different HIV service organizations have also intensified awareness activities in the district targeting key age groups.

Mr Sikazwe said the HIV prevalence rate stands at 14.5 per cent.


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