Ahead of World Aids Day, which is commemorated annually on December 1, Nolungile Health Care centre held an event, on Friday November 30 aimed at educating mothers.
Under the theme “I know My Status” the event targeted young mothers and pregnant women, with the core message being that they should practice safe sex and get tested so that they know their HIV status.
It was also emphasised that Aids shouldn’t be seen as a death sentence.
Facility manager, David Binza, said they had hosted the event as they wanted to spread the message about HIV/ Aids and urged their patients to put their health first.
He said they had targeted the mothers because women often stopped practising safe sex after they had given birth, increasing their chances of contracting HIV.
He added that township residents were often reluctant to be tested for HIV as there was still a stigma associated with HIV/Aids. For this reason, he said, they wanted to reinforce the message that HIV/Aids was treatable and discourage the victimisation of people who live with HIV.
“Let us all take responsibility of our health. HIV is defeatable if we talk openly.
“We must dismantle the many stigmas associated with HIV and Aids.
“We must educate the children about the disease. We must practise safe sex to prevent the spread of this disease,” he said.
Facility health promoter, Phyllis Zondani appealed to mothers to change their negative lifestyle for the sake of their children. She said the first 1 000 days of a child’s life, were critical.
Young mother, Nolubabalo Ndikho, said she learnt a lot from the event and would aim to continue living a healthy lifestyle. She said the harsh reality was that some young mothers did not take responsibility for their health.