—-Good health among the teaching fraternity has been singled out as being among the most cardinal factors in upholding quality education in Mkushi district.
Mkushi District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Maybin Luulu, issued this when he graced the Primary Health Care public fairs which were conducted in three separate locations of Mkushi District.
Mr Luulu reiterated government’s commitment towards maintaining high standards of education services, saying government acknowledged that this objective required healthy well being of the teacher fraternity.
He said to this effect, government had initiated a joint program in which the Ministry of Education partnered with the Ministry of Health to conduct Primary Health Care Fairs in the district.
The District Education Board Secretary said such interventions were vital for ensuring successful services in the education sector.
Mr Luulu said that owing to this, the two ministries had implemented the Primary Health Care Fairs for the district at locations such as Chibefwe, Nkumbi and Masansa Primary Schools.
He said the issue of health was among the most pertinent in every human society, explaining that the medical services on offer at these fairs had been extended to entire communities.
Mr Luulu noted that the theme for the fairs, ‘Healthy Teachers for Quality Education’, was in tandem with government’s objectives on maintaining good health among teachers.
During the same fairs, Mkushi District Aids Coordination Advisor (DACA), Nyambe Kamungoma, observed that the education sector was among the sectors that were faced with high risk of HIV infection.
Mr Kamungoma attributed this to various factors such as the mobile activities of teachers who go through transfers, workshops and other activities.
He urged teachers and other residents of Mkushi to maximise the services being rendered at the Primary Health Fairs.
Mr Kamungoma commended the two ministries for teaming up in the quest to implement this initiative, adding that he was impressed with the variety of services being rendered.
Regarding HIV related statistics for the district, Mr Kamungoma disclosed that the HIV infection prevalence rate currently stood at 9.6 per cent.
He said basing on the 2010 Census of Population and housing statistics, Mkushi had a population of 151,803 people of which 76,000 are male, whilst 75,739 are female.
The DACA described the 9.6 per cent HIV infection prevalence rate as worrisome and attributed it to Mkushi being located on a transitory position.
Mr Kamungoma said factors such as multiple concurrent sexual partners, low condom use as well as migrant labour force were among the major drivers that contributed to increasing the HIV prevalence rate.
He observed that other factors included low levels of male circumcision, prostitution and Mother to Child Transmission of the virus.
The ministries of education and health teamed up to conduct Primary Health Fairs in Mkushi towards the latter days of the week.