MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane addressing the Mandeni community on World Aids Day.
MEC Commemorates World Aids Day with Mandeni Community
The Mandeni Municipality in partnership with the iLembe District Municipality and the Provincial Department of Education commemorated World Aids Day on 1 December 2016 at the Sibusisiwe Community Hall in Mandeni.
Under the theme “It is in our hands to end HIV and TB” this year South Africa is reflecting on the past struggles and advancements made towards the fight against HIV/AIDS and TB as well as mapping a way forward in ending the death sentence of HIV and TB.
The KwaZulu Natal Provincial Government has through its cabinet directed that this year’s World Aids Day will be a chance to focus on creating awareness campaign called the universal test and treat programme which started being rolled out in the province from the 1st of September 2016. The Universal Test and Treat campaign is aimed at ensuring that all people living with HIV receive treatment as soon as they are diagnosed.
Provincial Department of Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana said the commemoration of World Aids Day is a day to remember those who have passed on because of the virus. “Provincial Government under Operation Sukuma Sakhe is committed to fighting head on HIV/Aids and TB and lowering new infections,” said MEC Dlungwane. The MEC added that the rate of infection amongst the youth and child headed households is alarming, “As the Department of Education is committed to implementing various school programmes that will focus on empowering pupils especially young girls who seem to be more vulnerable to contracting HIV,” said the MEC.
South African has made considerable strides in expanding antiretroviral treatment to more than 3.7 million people. They has been a dramatic reduction in mother to child transmission of HIV and a welcomed the marked increase in average life expectancy. “However we all remain saddened at the alarming rate of new HIV infection remains overwhelmingly high. New HIV infections led to millions being vulnerable. HIV/AIDS cannot be tackled by those who are living with the virus alone,” said MEC Dlungwane. The MEC continued that, this is why national government has made it the responsibility of every South African to stand together in the fight against HIV/Aids and as well as TB.
Mandeni Municipality is committed to fighting the scourge of HIV and TB especially amongst the youth and child headed households. Children who are left alone to take care of themselves often become vulnerable to predators who use their impoverished circumstances against them.
From left-right: Mrs Sibongile Skhakhane the District Director of Social Development, Mandeni Deputy Mayor Cllr Phindile Sishi, MEC for Education Mthandeni Dlungwane and iLembe Deputy Mayor Cllr Dolly Shandu handing over a school uniform to one of the school kids from iLembe district.
MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane and Mandeni Deputy Mayor Cllr Phindile Sishi addressing the Father Gerald Hospice staff members