KEETMANSHOOP - Members of the !Nami#nus Constituency Aids Coordinating Committee (Cacoc) recently held a mentoring workshop in Lüderitz.
Speaking at the workshop, Jan Scholtz, councillor for !Nami#nus Constituency said, “the problems of HIV/Aids are multi-faced while the age range 0-14 years has been identified as relatively ‘free’ from Aids in most countries of the world.” He however, cautioned that this trend is changing whereby it is not uncommon to have young people as young as 12 years being infected with the HIV virus.
Highlighting the objectives of the workshop, he said, it was to discuss burning issues such as the roles and responsibilities of Cacoc coordinators, networking and partnership, HIV/Aids counselling and testing, ARV- and- income generating projects and lastly alcohol abuse.
Scholtz stressed HIV/Aids has become a situation that needs to be addressed at all costs since it has catastrophic consequences in any given community. “The high cost of medication robs the nation from its scarce resources for development,” he said, as one of the effects of the disease.
Another negative effect is that full-blown Aids has robbed the community from qualified and experienced citizens needed for national development according to the constituency councillor.
In addition, he explained more children became orphans when losing their parents due to this pandemic, in the end putting more pressure on society.
“The stigmatisation of persons who go public regarding their HIV/Aids status causes psychological pressure on both such persons and their families,” Scholtz reasoned.
“As a clergyman, I see the HIV/Aids epidemic as not a problem but rather the greatest challenge of humanity today,” he argued. Supporting his argument, Scholtz explained that the answer simply lies in the society’s living habits. He continued by stating, “the challenge lies in the re-examination of our sexual lives and our traditional practices such as tattooing for beauty and identify.”
The constituency councillor said the participants at the end of the workshop will develop new and revisited existing action plans that will outline the required interactions needed to combat the devastating consequences of the HIV/Aids pandemic.
“When you return to your various destinations/constituencies, you should go and put into practice the practical suggestions from the workshop,” Scholtz advised.