Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau
People in Mhondoro-Ngezi have praised the High-throughput screening (HTS) campaigns being facilitated by peer educators in the area which has helped reduce HIV new infections and has helped to detect various sexually transmitted diseases faster.
The campaigns have also promoted uptake of condoms and antiretroviral therapy drugs in the area including Venice Mine located some 25 kilometres from Kadoma town.
Ms Hilda Kamanga, Clareta Mashizha and other peer educators walk the length and breadth of Ward 13 and 14 to reach out to everyone ahead of an HIV/AIDS-free nation by 2030.
Speaking at Dorneni village near Venice Mine during an ongoing media tour of Mashonaland West being facilitated by the National Aids Council (NAC), whose purpose is to expose journalists to various interventions in place to reduce the HIV pandemic, one of the artisanal miners, Mr Elliot Mgoma said they were sceptical about visiting health care facilities.
The area has had high cases of STIs particularly syphilis, unwanted pregnancies, illegal abortions and early child marriages.
Venice Mine’s safety, health and environmental officer, Mr Shawn Lavaia whose organisation has had help from the peer educators, lauded the outreach programmes.
Ms Mashizha said it was difficult to distribute condoms, promote cervical and prostate cancer awareness in the artisanal mining setups.
The province hosts this year’s World Aids Day commemorations under the theme: “End Pandemics, End Inequality, End Aids at the Chinhoyi University of Technology”.