A group of 22 doctors under the auspices of â€˜Doctors For life,â€™ is set to offer free training and counseling services in the Marange community of Manicaland Province as part of the groupâ€™s fight against the HIV and AIDS pandemic.The corporate world and individuals from across the political divide have been urged to take an active role in the fight against the HIV pandemic.
This was said by the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere at a dinner to raise funds for a campaign against HIV and AIDS in Marange.
â€œA lot more can be done to fight this scourge and everyone should support such an initiative. This is above politics and we can not play politics with peopleâ€™s challenges, let us take a leaf from these doctors, do not just talk about it, it is now time to do it,â€ said Cde Kasukuwere.
Guest of Honour at the fundraising dinner, Dr Tapiwa Magure, who is National Aids Council (NAC) Director, said a multi sectored approach is needed in combating the AIDS pandemic.
â€œVulnerability of the poor due multi concurrent partnerships and lack of access to treatment has made the fight difficult. Statistics speak for themselves that it is still the major killer and this [initiative] will make an impact on the fight to reduce HIV related infections and deaths,â€ Dr Magure said.
The group of young medical practitioners says the week long â€˜Smile Marange Projectâ€™ is aimed at effecting perception change in the Marange community, which of late has seen an influx of people coming to the area in search of diamonds.
â€œWe want to effect perception change through awareness campaigns starting from individual level. Programmes will include management of the condition, preventative measure and training of local nurses, and we are targeting 2500 people for the period,â€ said one medical practitioner, Dr Allan Jokwiro.
According to figures released by the NAC, Manicaland Province has recorded a slight increase in the HIV prevalence rate.
The Smile Marange Campaign will run from the 24th to the 30th of November this year.