KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Finance, Belinda Scott, in her capacity as uMgungundlovu District Political Champion launched the district countdown for the21st International AIDS Conference 2016 in Impendle Municipality today.
The countdown follows the provincial launch which took place in Durban on Friday last week.
Addressing the community at Gomane’s Hlelolusha Hall Scott said the HIV/AIDS crusade focuses on caring for the vulnerable and orphaned children and adults in order to fight collectively with the spread of the disease.
“During this crusade, we target local non-profit organisations that work with all vulnerable communities and donate items that they dearly need in order for them to sustain their work. In Impendle, we visited Khanyisani and Impendle Community Care Centre that cares for the orphaned and vulnerable children. We donated children’s books, school uniform, future life porridge and a cooking stove.
“We do this in partnership with public and private sector stakeholders. We came here with the Department of Health, Impendle Municipality as well as Future Life Foundation. We always emphasise that it is not a crime if you have HIV and AIDS, but we need those infected to use our health institutions to get help. We will be visiting all municipalities in uMgungundlovu District to preach the same message,” said Scott.
Impendle Mayor Sizwe Ndlela said he was worried that there were pregnant women who did not attend antenatal clinic during pregnancy.
“Some of these women are HIV positive and they lose an important opportunity to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child. This is a grave concern for us,” said the mayor.
He said the visit by MEC Scott was “very important in our collective fight against HIV and AIDs, and we are encouraged that she takes it very seriously,” he said.
Earlier in the morning, Scott and FutureLife Foundation Julika Falcorner visited two NGOs where they donated eating bowls for kids; pots; extension cords (50 metres); 5 x (20 litre) water buckets and 50 kiddies plastic chairs, uniform and two laptops for Khanyisani at Stoffelton and at Nzinga areas in Impendle.
UMgungundlovu District Health and Operation Sukuma Sakhe District Task Team Chairperson, Mrs May Zuma-Makhonza encouraged members of the community to test for HIV. She said it was important that people used available healthcare facilities to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.
Office of the MEC for Finance
For more information, call Musa Cebisa on 071 687 8777 or Sibonelo Msomi on 072 587 1947