Tshwane plays part in commemorating International World Aids Day
Pretoria - The City of Tshwane played its part in commemorating International World Aids Day when activists, community health workers, clinics and organisations did their bit to spread awareness about the disease.
Group head of health in the City of Tshwane Koena Nkoko said all seven regions of Tshwane undertook to create awareness about HIV/Aids as part of joining a bigger campaign led at provincial level by the Gauteng government.
He said various officials, healthcare professionals, activists and non-profit organisations were doing what they always did, which was to continue to create awareness despite the challenging times brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nkoko said: "This year things have been different because of Covid-19 which brought with it challenges as people living with the chronic disease were afraid to go to clinics to collect their treatment medication.
"Some of the people who are on treatment defaulted on their schedule, so we are taking this time and opportunity to remind our people not to default and to know that our clinics are safe despite Covid-19.
"Also, we wish to remind our people not to only focus on Covid-19 and forget other illnesses like HIV/Aids so that we don't find ourselves creating a double pandemic, especially at a time when we could face a second wave of Covid-19 should we misbehave this festive season."
Mabopane's popular entertainer and socialite Mawiza who represents members of the LGBTIQ community who hold dialogues at Tlamelong Clinic for Men who Sleep with Men (MSM) said this day was about promoting health and encouraging people to know their statuses.
She said HIV/Aids was an illness that did not care if a person is a member of the LGBTIQ community of not, which is why it was important for every member of society to take a stand and make an effort to know their status and also commit to using protection for themselves and other people.
Sipho Mnisi from the Multisectoral Aid Management Forum in the City of Tshwane led a joint venture awareness campaign in the Soshanguve Block KK community to create awareness and give people opportunities to discuss HIV/Aids, get counselling and to know their status.
Mnisi said: "We had some community healthcare workers going door-to-door to create awareness and educate people about HIV/Aids and even answer questions for those who had concerns like the impact of Covid-19 on a positive person."