May 28, 2017 Last Updated 4:52 AM, May 28, 2017
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Trade increasing HIV cases in Mzimba

A lot of people in the district are engaged in small scale businesses A lot of people in the district are engaged in small scale businesses
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The high HIV prevalence rate in Mzimba  has been attributed to high business opportunities that the district offers.

This has been revealed by Tovwirane HIV/AIDS Organisation that has been working in the northern region district since 1993.

The organization’s Programmes Manager  says most of the people in the worst hit areas are perishing due lack of information, as mobility of people is very high due to economic engagements, hence making it very hard to conduct HIV and AIDS awareness campaigns.

“All of the areas mentioned are trading centres and business persons are always nomadic, which automatically qualifies them to be vulnerable to HIV and AIDS. So, you find that you are sensitizing this group today but after two or three days those people are out and another group comes in," said Albert Moyo.

Figures from the district’s AIDS Coordinating Committee show that the biggest district in the country has a prevalence rate of 7%, an increase from 5% in 2013, against the prevalence rate of 6% at regional level.

Moyo added, "This makes it hard to make right progress in terms of educating the communities especially on behavioural change. Now with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) coming in we do not have any other choice but to work tirelessly with government in ensuring that the country is HIV free by 2030."

Despite various efforts by Government and other stakeholders to curb the spread of HIV  statistics indicate that HIV prevalence is still growing at a higher rate.

According to Mzimba District AIDS Coordinator Frank Mfune, Bulala, Raiply, Ekwendeni and Mzimba Boma are the worst hit areas in the district, saying prostitution, and migration of people to South Africa are some of the factors contributing towards the current trend of HIV and AIDS prevalence.

He said it is disheartening considering the effort and funds which his office and other stakeholders have been pumping in so as to curb the pandemic in the district.

“It is shocking,” said Mfune, adding, “We have been conducting massive behavioural change campaigns in the district against the pandemic, but it seems we are yielding nothing and it is very worrisome.”

The most common occupations are subsistence farming of maize and beans supplemented by cattle herding, in addition tobacco is grown as a cash crop. There are currently 98 active educational committees in Mzimba.

Last modified on Saturday, 22 August 2015 14:14

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