The Sunday Mail
MEN should take a leading role in addressing health issues that affect society, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has said.
Addressing the inaugural Men’s Conference organised by her office through the National AIDS Council (NAC) on Wednesday in the capital, the First Lady noted that men also have to commit to healthy living.
The one-day conference gave men an interactive platform on HIV and AIDS, sexual and reproductive health issues with the Health and Childcare Ambassador.
“As you have heard, the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) commissioned medical equipment and drugs from other friendly countries. It is an opportunity for men to go and get tested and participate in living healthy,” she said.
“It’s painful that most men ignore issues to do with their health and when they pass on, the burden will be left on mothers to take care of the family.”
“Let us get involved in taking care of our health so that we can both live longer and help each other to take care of the children we were given by God. Children are a gift from God and if we take care of ourselves, we can live longer and be able to take care of them,” she said.
She urged men to end all forms of domestic violence and child marriages. These in a way fuel the spread of HIV in a situation where a partner cannot negotiate for safe sex due to age or power differences.
Speaking at the same occasion, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said Government is doing everything to make sure that all the country’s hospitals are equipped.
Different speakers during the conference raised concerns over men’s reluctance in getting tested for HIV and AIDS as well as sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).
NAC has made strides in dealing with issues to do with HIV, AIDS and STIs.
However, Insiza district in Matabeleland South still tops the list in terms of HIV prevalence and incidence rates.
While the national prevalence rate is 14 percent, the rate in Matabeleland South is 19,43 percent according to the 2018 HIV and AIDS estimate report.
The national incidence rate is 0,48 percent while Matabeleland South sits on 0,96 percent.
HIV prevalence rate is the proportion of persons in a population infected with HIV over a specified period of time.
HIV incidence rate is expressed as the estimated number of persons newly infected with HIV during a specified time period.