Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Anthony Livuza has on Monday told his staff to stop isolating and discriminating people living with HIV and AIDs in the ministry.
Livuza while opening a 5-day training workshop for peer educators in HIV and AIDs from his ministry said, discrimination and isolation of people with the virus had no room in the ministry in particular and a country as a whole.
He said just like any other diseases, people suffering from the pandemic could equally contribute towards developing the Malawi nation.
“We have witnessed people living positively for more than 10 years but very energetic and actively participating in developmental activities of the country. This therefore, tells that, those people who are HIV positive are significant to the nation. My plea to the members of staff therefore is that let us stop isolating and discriminating against people who are positive,” Livuza said.
The PS also said, “Why should HIV and AIDs be an issue when we also have serious and fatal diseases like hypertension and malaria which are killing people in the country.”
About the training, the PS said the ministry of information had a huge task to educate the masses on issues of national importance.
He said recognizing this great role, his ministry decided to conduct a peer education training which according to the nation response framework of HIV and AIDs is one of the various approaches in HIV and AIDs interventions, behaviour change, impacts mitigation as well as care and support strategy.
Livuza said in any context of a society, peers plays a role in shaping the lives of people considering the pressure that they exert on day to day approaches of life.
“The importance of peer education and workplace programmes cannot be overemphasized, peer education for us, may be the most effective component of the HIV and AIDs, sexual reproductive health, multimedia communication interventions,” he explained.
Livuza noted that through the knowledge and skills gained by the members of the staff, Malawians stand a chance to benefit.
He said many people will now know about the best practices as well as sexual reproductive health. The PS then urged participants to take all issues to be tackled seriously and transfer the knowledge and skills acquired to the public.
“Remember we are meant to be information givers and information can empower and empowerment can encourage people to change the way they live, the way they think and the way we behave. And we should as a ministry of information do this for not for just us, but the general public,” he said.
Livuza commend National AIDS Commission (NAC) for its technical support and for financing the workshop.
One of many activities
Director of Information, Isaack Cheke Ziba described the workshop as one of the many activities the ministry has lined up in the quest to spreading preventive HIV and AIDs messages.
“HIV and AIDs is a serious problem in the country, we hope that at the end of it all, participants will have acquired relevant skills and knowledge and pass it to the general public,” Ziba explained.
Peer education training, is one of the various activities that the ministry of information is pursuing to spread messages about HIV and AIDs.
The training workshop aims at equipping participants with knowledge and skills on the best HIV and AIDs practices and sexual reproductive health.
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