The Youth Program is part of the comprehensive package in the national response to HIV and AIDS. The objective of the youth programme in the national response to HIV and AIDS is to offer HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and management services to young people in school, out of school and in tertiary institutions. The adolescence are an important group in the national response to HIV and AIDS as they are the window of hope in overcoming HIV and AIDS as they constitute 40% of the Zimbabwean population. The programme ensures meaningful participation of young people in HIV and AIDS programmes, condom programming and sexually transmitted infections management.
The youth programmes are coordinated through Young Peopleâ€™s Network on HIV and AIDS program which is present in the countryâ€™s ten provinces, and is being set up in all the countryâ€™s districts.
First Lady visits NAC YPN Stand
Tinashe Grateful Rufurwadzo
There was chaos and commotion as the exhibitors who were in the Rajiv Ghandi pushed and shoved to the faintest glimpse of the scene where the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe was having a stand tour.
National AIDS Council Youth Programme, Young People’s Network on Sexual Reproductive Health HIV and AIDS (YPNSRHHA) has been exhibiting on many national events since including the 21st February Movement, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) and Harare Agricultural Show amongst others.
At this year’s Harare Agricultural Show, the YPNSRHHA managed to compete in the Rothmans Competition and scoop the third prize (bronze).
The First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe managed to visit the YPNSRHHA stand due to the fact that it managed to won the third prize and what she liked most was the fact that young people are taking the lead in the issues of Sexual Reproductive Health HIV and AIDS.
‘This is a great initiative for the young ones and the young at heart, hope you are taking the lead in HIV prevention and take abstinence as your prevention method ‘said Amai Grace Mugabe.
The first lady encouraged the members of the YPNSRHHA to spear-head the prevention of HIV and she postulate young people are suppose to abstain or delay sexual activities until the right time comes.
According to the African Youth Charter (AYC) Article 11, it herald about youth participation and it states that every young person shall have the right to participate in all spheres of society. This right has been fulfilled by the National AIDS Council as they have come up with a programme that disseminates Sexual Reproductive Health as well as HIV and AIDS information is concerned. The YPNSRHHA has been decentralized in all the 85 districts including those which are hard to reach so that every young person has been equipped with SRH HIV and AIDS information.
With the major challenge of having few people at the Harare Agricultural Show the YPNSRHHA managed to reach out to 2 553 young people.
Social Media for SRH HIV and AIDS
By Tinashe G Rufurwadzo and Nyasha Sithole
National AIDS Council Youth Programme-Young People’s Network on Sexual Reproductive Health HIV and AIDS with support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will be training about 1000 young people from all over the country on the use of Social Media to raise awareness on Sexual Reproductive Health HIV and AIDS. The objectives of this Social Media Campaign is to: engage young people in dialogue on issues of maternal mortality, sexual and reproductive health, family planning, HIV and AIDS via Social Media platforms like facebook, increase young people’s awareness of Sexual Reproductive Health HIV and AIDS issues and to increase the engagement and involvement of young people on the Young People’s Network-Get Engaged campaign at Provincial Level.
It is of paramount importance to note that, according to the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey (2010/11) the HIV prevalence rate for the young people between the ages of 15-24 is 5,5%.This clearly shows that the young people still need much attention when it comes to the issues of information dissemination without prejudice. The social media decentralization campaign is reaching to each and every young person even to those who are in hard to reach area they are being equipped with skills on the use of social media to communicating Sexual Reproductive Health HIV and AIDS issues.
On the 14th of May 2013 about 85 young people were trained at National Level and this initiative has stand as a commitment which was made by the young people on their first training.Additionally,Three members of the Young People’s Network on Sexual Reproductive Health HIV and AIDS managed to represent Zimbabwe at a regional Social Media Training workshop which was held in South Africa, Johannesburg.
For more information on the youth programme view or download the documents below.