Staff gain knowledge in fight against Aids


08-June-2009

 
Mr Talma addressing delegates at the opening of the workshop

They took part in a two-day workshop organised by the HIV/Aids Support Organisation (HASO) in collaboration with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).

The session took place at the Maison de Football, Roche Caiman, in the presence of principal secretary for agriculture Walter Talma, HASO representatives and those from Comesa, who will be monitoring the process.

Those taking part included workers from the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Seychelles Coast Guard, Police Department, Trades Tax Division, fire services and teachers.

The workshop forms part of the Agricultural Marketing, Promotion and Regional Integration Project, whose goal is to promote economic growth and cooperation in the Comesa region.

HIV/Aids prevention and control is one of its main components as the disease is one of the key elements affecting the performance of the agricultural sector and thus economic growth as a whole.

Topics for the first session included an overview of the global and local situation concerning HIV, the myths and facts of HIV, modes of transmission and briefings on other sexually transmitted diseases. The focus was also on positive living and on care and support to be offered to those affected.

In the second part of the workshop, the delegates learned about stigma and discrimination, with case scenarios, and a drama on HIV awareness was also presented.

The session was led by several health officials, with contributions on positive living from Martha Mwanba of the Forum for Youth Organisation in Zambia.

In his opening address, Mr Talma said the Comesa region has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa.
“A sick nation will always be a burden on the social and economic sectors of a country as it will gradually destroy its future labour force and productivity in the long run,” he said.

He added that the workshop is targeting various organisations where staff move around and where there is trade between different groups.

Mr Talma thanked the HASO for its initiative and called on all present to help promote the control and prevention of HIV/Aids.

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