28 April 2018
Zimbabwe's First Lady, Auxilia Mnangagwa, signed the Barcelona Declaration on Tuberculosis (TB) and the Bulawayo Declaration on HIV and TB, emphasising the importance of health education. The First Lady, who is the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s official cervical cancer ambassador and Minister of State for the Metropolitan Province of Bulawayo Angeline Masuku signed the declarations. The Declaration is open to any political representative in the world to sign and is a demonstration of support and solidarity for efforts to end the TB pandemic. It is designed to raise the profile of the disease among politicians and is a tool for advocates wishing to engage local decision-makers. In Zimbabwe, 140 political leaders have signed the declaration to date.
Speaking during the handover of 11 television sets from National Aids Council to the Bulawayo City Council for the promotion of information on various diseases at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair yesterday, the First Lady said: “Health education has played a key part in this scale-up as it has empowered our people with the correct and appropriate information for behaviour change and utilisation of prevention services. We have to sustain the approach and enhance it with the use of technology through which various topics such as HIV prevention, TB awareness, prevention and treatment can be tackled continuously and be re-enforced through strategies such as drama, music and poetry.” She continued; “The TV sets that are being handed over today to Bulawayo City will go a long way in information dissemination particularly now as Zimbabwe tackles epidemics of HIV, TB and non-communicable diseases in particularly cervical cancer.”
The First Lady encouraged content producers to target men in their campaigns as most were reluctant to undergo tests. “I would like to encourage the clinics and committees that would be responsible for the production of the programmes that would be shown on TV to also deliberately engage men with relevant and appealing messages to take up health services and also support their partners,” she said.
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