World Aids Day commemorated

2017-12-15 06:00
PHOTO: siphelele nketoHarry Gwala District Municipality mayor Mluleki Ndobe (left) and Reverend Zamuxolo Tambo light a candle.

PHOTO: siphelele nketoHarry Gwala District Municipality mayor Mluleki Ndobe (left) and Reverend Zamuxolo Tambo light a candle.

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THE public and government commemorated World Aids Day at Rietvlei Sports Field last Friday.

The Traditional Healers Association in Harry Gwala District chairperson, Nomzamo Ngidi said some people believe they are bewitched when they show symptoms of HIV.

She said there are 80 traditional healers on the district database who have apparatus that can test for HIV.

“Before we heal patients with traditional medicine, we advise them to know their status and tell them to take the medication prescribed for them.

“We condemn traditional healers who tell patients to stop taking antiretroviral treatment because it is not right,” said Ngidi.

According to the Harry Gwala Department of Health, 52 801 people are on antiretroviral treatment and statistics of mother to child transmissions are 0,5%.

The Harry Gwala Department of Health district director, Lindiwe Zuma, said most mothers on antiretrovirals don’t breastfeed, they either bottle or cup feed - depending on the age of the child.

Zuma said breastfeeding is better for the child than bottle feeding.

“The Department of Health is working to fight the spread of the disease and we encourage young boys to go for medical male circumcision at a hospital or certified clinic in order to decrease the chance of getting the disease.”

The Department of Health has a committee with members from Alfred Nzo, Ugu, Harry Gwala and OR Tambo District, who assist patients on antiretroviral to get their medication from clinics and hospitals, and advises them not to default on treatment. She said government is introducing the new health patient registration system (HPRS) for those on treatment.

The programme is active in Alfred Nzo District.

Harry Gwala District Municipality mayor Mluleki Ndobe and religious leaders lit candles to mark World Aids Day and condoms were handed out.

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