Nac trains traditional healers in HIV/Aids

HARARE - National Aids Council (Nac) is training 360 traditional healers across the country on HIV prevention and treatment.

Traditional healers are being trained so that they understand HIV issues and also give their clients information about the epidemic and treatment adherence.

In an interview Nac Research and Documentation coordinator Freeman Dube said gone are the days when the fight against HIV/Aids left out traditional healers who have a lot of influence in communities.

“We aim to raise the capacity of traditional healers in terms of HIV prevention and treatment. The emphasis is that if people go to traditional healers for whatever reason they should be given information about HIV, testing and mother to child transmission as well as access to condoms,” said Dube.

“You will find that after discussions with traditional healers they understand there is a scientific side to HIV.”

He said all these initiatives are in line with national HIV response programmes.

Traditional healers in Matabeleland North, Masvingo, Midlands, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central and Mashonal West would be trained under the programme. Dube added that his organisation’s relationship with community-based organisations has helped the planning of national response programmes.

Nac Monitoring and Evaluation director, Amon Mpofu said the issue of funding to help community-based organisations has barriers in the fight against the spread of HIV/Aids.

Nac is using funds from Sadc in the fight against HIV and they are training community-based organisations on capacity strengthening in governance, compliance to national strategic planning and innovative programming and financial management systems.  

The project will also see tertiary institutions empowering students with behavioural change knowledge and document their experiences which will be shared regionally.

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