Drivers explain Aids campaign

2010-07-19 09:41
Vienna - Bicycle taxi drivers from Malawi attending the World Aids conference explained on Sunday how they developed their own campaign in the fight against the disease.

"A lot of girls were offering sex instead of paying the fare," said Frank Mulawa, a 24-year-old bicycle taxi driver from the region of Nsanje.

"But we don't want sex for our services. We're bicycle taxi drivers because we're poor. We need money."

Mulawa, who has worked as a driver since the age of 14 following the death of both his parents, estimated that around one in five bicycle taxi drivers was infected.

So he and a group of around 20 other colleagues took it upon themselves to start an information campaign for both their passengers and other drivers.

Awareness campaign


This was no small task in Malawi, which is one of the world's least developed nations and has been ravaged by Aids.

"On average, I can advise 10 people a day," Mulawa said. But he was careful about how to broach the subject, he added.

"You have to build up a relationship, start a conversation and bit by bit the topic of Aids comes up."

Mulawa said he and his colleagues had also started taking their Aids awareness campaign to local schools.

And the drivers' campaign, while modest, was already having an effect, said Maclean Sosono, head of Friends of Aids Support Trust (Fast), a campaign group based in Nsanje, in the south of the country, which supports their project.

"Thanks to this and other projects, HIV prevalence came down in this district," he said.

The taxi-cyclists launched their campaign in a country where infant mortality is already high and the adult life expectancy very low: an estimated 11.9% of Malawi's population of 15 million is infected with Aids.

But at the end of May, UNAids, the United Nations' Aids programme, congratulated Malawi on reducing the prevalence of the disease over the past five years.
- SAPA
Read more on:    malawi  |  southern africa  |  hiv aids
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come back into focus. You may get a second chance to say what needs to be said. The important focus today is to not...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.