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by Vukile Mavundla (Provincial Team Technical Advisor)
Commencing the Provincial Government's commemoration of World AIDS Day (WAD) in Amajuba District, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube led a contingent of Members of the Executive Council (MECs) on household visits in Ward 12 of Danhauser Sub-district, to gain a first-hand understanding of the community's challenges and needs.
Premier Dube-Ncube (second from right) is accompanied by provincial mec for health, Dr Nomagugu Simelane, on household visits in the Dannhauser ward 12 community. (photo credit: KZNonline).
Among the families visited was one where an elderly lady was living in a rundown house with 13 grandchildren. The principals committed to build them a proper house and to offer bursaries to the four children who had completed their Matric studies.
During the public event at Vanjazi Sports Ground, a moment of silence and a candle-lighting ceremony honoured all those who have lost their lives to AIDS.
Addressing the gathering on the 2022 World AIDS Day theme 'Equalise and Integrate to End AIDS', Premier Dube-Ncube thanked the audience for attending in numbers, and advocated for young people to delay their sexual debut and focus on their studies so that they can determine their future. "The youth are the future leaders of our country, so we need a healthy generation of young people who will take South Africa forward," she said.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube (Photo credit: KZNonline)
She emphasised the importance of practising safe sex, and the availability of male and female condoms, Family Planning and HIV services, and the Dablapmeds chronic medicine collection programme, all of which are free of charge through the public health system.
"Reducing HIV-related stigma is a top priority for the provincial government, and we must love all those who are infected with and affected by HIV," she added. "We urge the people of KwaZulu-Natal to know their HIV status and if necessary, be initiated on treatment immediately."
The Premier commended government for its efforts to control the country's HIV epidemic, notably through expanding access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART), and the Chair of the KwaZulu-Natal Civil Society Forum acknowledged the support and resources brought by partners to reach communities in need of HIV care and treatment services.
Vukile Mavundla, HST's Technical Advisor to the Office of the Chief Director: District Health Services, represented the SA SURE Pro project at the WAD event, highlighting the role we play in supporting the province's strategic health programmes and district HIV and TB interventions, with a joint commitment to more equitable and integrated clinic services.
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