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    Monday, 20 May 2019

    6 000 MSU students get National Aids Council services

    File pic; Midlands State University adminstration block.

    ELIZABETH MASHIRI
    MIDLANDS BUREAU

    GWERU – More than 6 000 Midlands State University students went through the turnstiles on Friday last week as they sought various services including HIV and Aids testing offered by the National Aids Council (NAC) at a health expo.
    The Health Expo was held at the University main campus and it was jointly supported by NAC, Saywhat and Zimbabwe Population Services.
    NAC Gweru district coordinator Murari Hwingwiri said the council decided to take the expo to the University because students were not comfortable visiting local clinics for treatment because of fear of stigmatisation.
    He said as a result NAC brought to the University a friendly environment where students even have fun as they sought services from the expo.
    The 6 000 students got services like HIV testing and counselling, family planning, condom promotion, adolescent sexual reproductive health information, TB screening, BP checks and cervical cancer screening.
    “NAC has taken an approach to target youths in tertiary institutions who are at risk of new HIV infections. So what we are doing here today is giving them a friendly environment where they can receive health services and have fun at the same time.
    “We have studied the youths and realised that they do not want to access health serves at their institutes because they fear stigmatisation so they rather go outside campus where they pay a lot of money. So organising an expo like this is very crucial to these youth because many get the chance to get tested and counselled,” said Hwingwiri.
    He noted that there were 15 000 condoms distributed in Gweru urban every month and 250 STI cases are recorded in all clinics during the same period.
    “Most of the STI patients are teenagers and this is why we are holding health expos to educate the youths. Today we received more than 6 000 students who came through for different services that we are offering,” said Hwingwiri.
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