Health MEC Calls for Sexual Discipline Among Students
Female students were encouraged to draw on their inner strength, power and self-confidence by the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, during his address at the launch of the Zazi Campaign and Dual Protection on UKZN’s Howard College campus.
ZAZI is a campaign which advises women and girls at institutions of higher learning to ‘know themselves and what they stand for’ in order to guide their decisions about their future.
The ZAZI (an Nguni word meaning ‘Know Yourself’) campaign provides an opportunity for young women to take charge in the prevention of HIV and AIDS.
Dhlomo encouraged the students to insist on a condom, avoid unwanted pregnancies and graduate alive. He said that the Health Department offered women a free package of contraceptive devices.
He said KZN was a burden to the rest of the country with the highest number of HIV- infected people. ‘A small improvement in the province will make a huge difference in the country.’
Dhlomo stated that KwaZulu-Natal had a responsibility to extend the Zazi campaign to men. He encouraged male students to use condoms or abstain as well as to get circumcised as this reduced their chances of contracting HIV by 60%.
"My Responsibility, My Choice, and Our Future - I choose Dual Protection", was the theme of the day.
In his welcome address on behalf of Dr Sibusiso Chalufu, the Executive Director of Student Services, Mr Amith Ramballie – Senior Student Development Specialist said he was grateful for the support of stakeholders including Department of Health, eThekwini Municipality DramAidE, Westville prison, Lifeline, IThembalabantu, Rose Clinic and Durban Secondary School.
Programme Co-ordinator, Ms Nomonde Magantolo, said it was critical to empower young women. She pleaded with the students to break the cycle of new infections, unplanned pregnancies and to use reliable contraceptive methods.
Zazi Ambassador Ms Thenjiwe Manana said the campaign was developed by women for women with the aim of promoting sisterhood; for women to love, listen and respect their bodies; to get tested, and to take responsibility for their sexual lives.
Mr Alex Semba from Universities South Africa highlighted other programmes available to Higher Education students - the First Things First Campaign aimed at all students; the Brothers For Life aimed at reducing gender based violence, and the LGBTI Programme aimed at reducing stigma.
Semba also mentioned the new CHOICE flavoured condoms available to Higher Education students.