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WORLD AIDS DAY:PEPFA,ex-NERCHA Director Khanya Mabuza’s leadership commended in the journey to 2030 zero new infections.

Sunday, 3rd December, 2023

It is highly commendable to note that, despite the political,social and economic challenges we are facing as a country, we still have positive stories to tell particularly in the fight against the once deadly pandemic,HIV/AIDS.

The role played by the United States(U.S) President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief(PEPFA), the National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS(NERCHA) and other stakeholders in controlling and reducing new infections is something that,we are and should be proud of as a country, access to health is a fundamental human right.

PEPFA complemented the Global Fund in supporting the efforts by Government through NERCHA to fight HIV/AIDS after so many years fighting the once deadly pandemic, today we have a positive story to tell.

It should be noted that,HIV/AIDS is slowly becoming controllable in the country and regardless of our political beliefs, when it comes to such sensitive and critical issues particularly health, we need to work collectively because after all, our common interest is the country.

We,therefore, commended the leadership of the then NERCHA Director Khanya Mabuza and we recall how he consistently engaged with us as the media, appealing for support in educating the public and discouraging stigmatization of those who “are HIV positive”.

As a result of the positive engagements,reporting about HIV/AIDS was regulated in journalism ethics and HIV positive citizens were protected from being publicly exposed by the media without their consent.

Khanya Mabuza who is now the Principal Secretary(PS) in the Ministry of Health was passionate about capacitating the media so that it can report in a manner that is educational instead of being destructive.

We have seen even the courts playing a huge role, Judges would increase the sentence for rapists who did not use a condom thus exposing victims to the risk of contracting HIV.

But apart from that, we saw even King Mswati who was the first to come-up with “lena yindzaba yetfu sonkhe” slogan, adding a voice against HIV and Women Rights Organizations like the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse(SWAGAA) played a role by fighting Gender Based Violence(GBV) one of the contributory factors to new infections.

Now, we can blow our own trumpet and say,we are winning the battle together,of course,without forgetting to thank those who took personal decisions not to spread the virus after testing positive,by using condoms.

Indeed,without their role as well to act as responsible citizens, the country, wouldn’t have won the battle against HIV/AIDS.

Now,in the journey towards 2030 zero new infections,we urge those who tested positive to ensure or continue taking their treatment and those who are negative to protect themselves,together,we will achieve zero new infections.

WORLD AIDS DAY:PEPFA,ex-NERCHA Director Khanya Mabuza’s leadership commended in the journey to 2030 zero new infections.
Ministry of Health PS Khanya Mabuza.