Activist says Namibians can beat AIDS by being responsible

Windhoek- Namibia (PANA) -- Namibian women should regard their health and well-being as a personal responsibility, and view it as their right to demand effective safeguards to protect themselves and their unborn babies from infection.
This was the view of the Women's Action for Development (WAD) Manager, Veronica de Klerk, at the official launch of the female condom here Friday.
The condoms will be distributed free of charge.
She noted that the Ministry of Women's Affairs and Child Welfare and non-governmental organisations took the lead in officially launching the femidom.
This should be seen as a manifestation of care for the people of the country, she said.
"It has taken no conviction to make Namibians realise that the HIV/AIDS issue is not only a women's issue, but indeed a human issue.
In fact, it is a choice between life and death," de Klerk stressed.
She said HIV/AIDS is like a monster, which wreaks havoc among the most valuable sections of society by killing future leaders, and depleting the country's economic resources and eroding productive power.
The use of female and male condoms is indeed an easy option to safeguard one against infection, she noted, adding that "the combating of HIV/AIDS infection places, in the wake of the absence of a medicinal cure, a huge test with regard to our ability to apply discipline to our nation.
" "If we succeed to be a disciplined nation in our personal lives, we will survive.
If not, we will die out.
This is the shocking reality of AIDS," de Klerk explained.
"We should therefore persevere and strive to witness the day when we can announce to the world that Namibia has beaten AIDS through self-discipline, and in this regard we can take our cue from countries such as Brazil, Thailand and Uganda," she added.
According to the UNAIDS fact sheet, some 36 million people are currently infected with the HIV virus world-wide, while over 25 million of them are in Africa.

20 avril 2001 21:16:00




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