The Nyanga-based non-governmental organisation, Etafeni, collaborated with Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) to launch a youth-friendly clinic last week.
Through the clinic it is hoped that there would be a decline in HIV infections among young girls and men. HPIC is funding the project.
Each year hundreds of Canadian healthcare professionals and other humanitarians embark on medical missions worldwide and this year they brought their help to Nyanga, bringing medical kits consisting of assorted essential medicines and medical supplies for children and adults.
Canadian pediatrician Dr Shalea Piteau said they were happy to have helped the people of Nyanga. “When one of our pastors talked about the place, we thought that is where help is needed. We had to do something.
“Medical work is our priority so people must talk to us. We will also help with our services when we visit the country,” she said.
Anthea Brooks, who is hired as a professional nurse at Etafeni by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), said the clinic is not just a place to test for HIV, but also a place where orphans and other community members can be attended to for other illnesses.
She said the clinic helps orphans and babies who attended the aftercare classes and daycare to access healthcare.
“We will also teach the community members a lot of things. There are medical mixtures that we can teach them so that they can do that for themselves. Diarrhoea is a challenge here. Every second child has it.
“This will create a better platform to train and teach parents to be able to cure it,” she said.
Patrick Andries, Etafeni director, said Nyanga was hugely affected by HIV/Aids and the clinic would be a great help.
“We are very excited with this gesture. There are more challenges in Nyanga but we believe we can change Nyanga and make it better. The Canadians’ involvement will help a lot of people,” he said.
Mr Andries said Etafeni had certain areas of focus, including education, nutrition, social work, job creation and HIV/Aids.