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Friday, July 12, 2024

Health education empowers Mbire community

Story by Tapiwa Machemedze

GOVERNMENT has made significant strides in fostering inclusive education through catering for learners with disability and improving health education in schools.

Students with hearing impairments have placed Mushumbi High School on the national map after scoping the national first prize in the National AIDS Council (NAC) HIV and AIDS quiz competition resulting in a 5KVA solar system being installed at the school, located in Mbire District.

“We managed the champions of the year 2023 that’s when we were given a solar system. Let me say thank you to NAC. You have improved our standing in the school because some of us were looked down upon,”  said Mushumbi High School student, Miss Tanatswa Munemo.

The initiative, which attracted schools from 85 districts in Zimbabwe, aims to ensure students know about sexual and reproductive health issues, thereby preventing new HIV infections among adolescents and reducing stigma and discrimination.

National Aids Council Provincial Head, Mr. Edgar Muzulu said,  “We want to inculcate knowledge among young people so that they grow up knowing risky behaviours which can put them in situations that distract their dreams. We also include other pandemics like Covid-19 and cholera. We also want them to have comprehensive sexual and reproductive health knowledge.”

 Government has upscaled mainstreaming of disability issues, with Mashonaland Central Province preparing to host the National Disability Expo from the 10th to the 12th of this month.

“Our visit here today resonates well with the vision of the President. He resonates well with people with disability. People with disability have been recognised in our constitution.  His excellency has established an annual event called the disability expo and coincidentally it’s being held in Mashonaland Central this year,” said Mashonaland Central Permanent Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Timothy Maregere.

Mashonaland Central Acting Provincial Education Director, DrThemba Mangwiro said, “We are so excited with this gesture from NAC. You know Mbire district has been looked down upon but see what they have done for us, they have done us proud as a Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.  We have received renewable energy because of the learners especially those with disability.”

Increasing sexual and reproductive health education in Mbire is critical, with the district combating high rates of teen pregnancies and child sexual exploitation.

Amandas Primary School in Mazowe District also benefitted from a 3 KVA solar power system after getting second prize in the primary schools’ National AIDS Quiz.

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