Education dept launches campus HIV/Aids awareness initiative

2016-06-20 22:18
Deputy Minister for Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Deputy Minister for Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Durban – Healthy and productive graduates are one of the cornerstones of a healthy economy, Higher Education Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana said on Monday.

"Universities and colleges provide the ideal environment within which to improve knowledge about HIV, other STIs and TB and to promote testing and other services to protect and care for young people," he said.

Manana launched the Higher Education and Training HIV/Aids (HEAIDS) initiative First Things First, at Thekwini College in Durban.

HEAIDS is a national collaboration devoted to promoting education and awareness of HIV and other health and social issues affecting young people.

Manana said the 2016 First Things First drive was being "activated" on 429 campuses at all public technical vocational education and training institutions and universities. The aim was to reach two million students.

HEAIDS director Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia said the First Things First programme had helped over 174 000 young people learn their HIV status.

"It is imperative that we as a nation speak as one voice and I assure you that, in the coming months, the First Things First campaign will try to reach more young men and women in our universities and colleges through provision of health education and services to look after them."

Ahluwalia said a comprehensive package of health services that included contraception, screening for cancer and various lifestyle diseases would be made available to students.

"Being part of campus life and building skills and knowledge enables young people to contribute to South Africa's progress and success. It also nurtures a protective and safer environment," Ahluwalia said.

Read more on:    mduduzi manana  |  durban  |  hiv aids  |  health

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