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Monday, July 15, 2024

Youth involvement critical in promoting positive health behaviour

Story by Bengani Ncube

YOUTH involvement and empowerment are critical in the promotion of positive health behaviour and in instilling discipline in Dete in the Matabeleland North Province.

A Sister-to-Sister mentor, who is also coordinating the Brother-to-Brother programme, Ms Abigail Moyo, said 35 girls out of 50 have volunteered to be tested for HIV, which is an important step in protecting oneself from acquiring as well as spreading the HIV virus.

She said that it is cheaper to train boys than to repair men.

The boys are also getting empowered through rearing chickens, making dishwashing chemicals and gardening, initiatives believed to be critical in inculcating discipline in the youths.

A young girl, Sipho, said that growing up, she thought that as a girl child, she could only rely on men for financial benefits, but through the project she has realised that she is empowered and has acquired self-help skills that make her financially independent.

Another young mother, Beverly Mlauzi, said she benefited a lot from the sister-to-sister programme. She is a mentor, is attached to two non-governmental organisations and has started her small detergent business.

Sam, a 15-year-old boy who was abusing drugs, a habit he acquired from fellow cattle herders, has since reformed through the brother-to-brother programme.

Hwange Rural District Councillor, Mr Stanley Torima said he appreciates the complementary efforts being made by various stakeholders in the ward such as the initiatives that are being implemented by the National AIDS Council.

The media is touring the province under the auspices of the National AIDS Council to get an appreciation of HIV and AIDS interventions in the communities ahead of the World AIDS Day commemorations on the 1st of December,2023 and the International Conference on AIDS & STIs in Africa to run from the 4th to the 9th of December in Harare.

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