THE Southern African HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS) in Zambia has started training members of Parliament (MPs) and ward councillors on effective sensitisation of their constituents on sexual reproductive and health rights in the prevention of HIV and AIDS.
SAfAIDS programmes officer Namucana Mushabati said it is important to train MPs and ward councillors in this skill because members of the communities listen to them more.
“We expect that after the training, the MPs and their ward councillors will sensitise their communities on the sexual reproductive and health rights in HIV and AIDS prevention,” Ms Mushabati said
She was speaking in Mumbwa on Saturday at a sexual reproductive and health rights training which was attended by Mumbwa MP Brian Chituwo and 10 ward councillors.
Ms Mushabati said MPs and ward councillors should engage their communities in dialogue to enhance the fight against HIV and AIDS.
And Dr Chituwo said the HIV and AIDS pandemic is adversely affecting rural communities.
Dr Chituwo also said sexual reproductive and health services should be extended to disabled people who too are affected by the HIV and AIDS pandemic.
He said disabled people have difficulties in visiting health centres and it is incumbent upon elected leaders to take the message to them.
“We also need to advocate the putting of information on sexual reproductive health rights on braille to cater for blind people,” Dr Chituwo said.
Mumbwa council secretary Elina Banda commended SAfAIDS for the initiative to train MPs and ward councillors because they are the key drivers of HIV and AIDS messages.
Ms Banda said people in the rural communities, especially the disabled do not have access to sexual reproductive health services.
“They need to be enlightened on these rights for the full attainment of human rights,” Ms Banda said
She appealed to MPs and ward councillors to lobby for sexual reproductive health services for people in communities.