The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust says football can be used as a medium to disseminate HIV/Aids messages to the general public particularly the youth in the country.
The observation was made on Saturday last week at M’dinde Community Ground in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Katuli in Mangochi when Nice organized a football bonanza aimed at creating a platform to spread HIV/Aids messages to the masses in a bid to lure them to go for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT).
Speaking during the event, Mangochi NICE Assistant District Civic Education Officer, Sabina Lungu said they thought of organizing a football bonanza because football match attracts a large audience, especially the youth.
“It is through VCT services that one can know their sero-status and plan for their future,” said Lungu.
She elaborated that when the youth have gone for VCT, cases of infection reduce considerably, since they would be willing to keep themselves safe if tested negative while those who test positive can be referred for appropriate follow up health services.
Lungu, apart from urging the youth to go for VCT, she pleaded with them to abstain, be faithful and use a condom if they fail to abstain, saying that is the only panacea of dealing with HIV/Aids.
In his remarks, Environmental Health Officer for Namwera – Katuli Trust, Atusaye Mbisa hailed NICE for the initiative saying the area has high number of people suffering from HIV/Aids due to the influx of businesspeople from the neighboring Mozambique to Katuli markets.
“This is one of the greatest strides NICE has done in this area in the fight against HIV and Aids. We hope it will woo more people to go for VCT and this will help reduce HIV prevalence in the district which is at 16.4 percent,” said Mbisa.
During the match Kwitunji FC Football Club hammered Eleven Spanners to one nil and went away with K15, 000 while Eleven Spanners went away with K10,000 for being the runners up.
With funding from National Aids Commission (NAC) Nice is implementing a one-year HIV and Aids project with the aim of curbing the virus.