Fishing communities trained on HIV prevention

ABOUT 876 fishing communities at the coast of Indian Ocean in Dar es Salaam have been trained on best practice to prevent new HIV infection and other related sexual transmitted diseases.

The public awareness campaign has also motivated voluntary testing, whereby 450 people were screened to know their health status and those who tested positive were advised to start medication in order to suppress the virus.

The campaign which lasted for two years commenced in October 2020 and was carried out by China Harbour Engineering Co. (CHEC) Ltd.

It was meant to benefit people who live or work near the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DMGP) II which is dredging the ship’s entrance channel and the turning basin of the Dar es Salaam Port.

“The Construction team insists on effectively fulfilling social responsibility to realise the unity of corporate business value and social value, truly reflecting the improvement and enhancement of the project activities on local economy, environment and infrastructure, so as to maximise the return to employees and society,” said Mr  Shan Jifeng, the CHEC’s project supervisor.

He explained that the AIDS awareness campaign was carried out with the support of AIDS protection experts to the nearby communities and schools and went hand in hand with setting up of free HIV testing stations in conjunction with local hospitals to provide pre-testing, treatment and psychological counseling and to spread more knowledge about HIV prevention.

CHEC also distributed posters with prevention methods messages to raise awareness of the importance of HIV prevention among local people and help them to take part in HIV prevention activities.

Tanzania Ports Authority and site consultant participated in HIV/AIDS training activities with local HIV/AIDS prevention agency and construction team.

For his part, CHEC’s HIV /AIDS awareness consultant Mr Onesmo Mwihava, said that the emphasis was laid on combating new infections, where a total of 9,450 condoms were  provided  for free while residents were relieved of testing fear.

He said the participating communities included fishers, boatmen, fish traders, food vendors around the beach area and the site construction personnel.

“This education has come at the right time where youth involving in fishing activities are widely indulging in immoral sexual actions. I will use this knowledge to speak to young people on the importance of abstaining from such acts or using protective gears,” said Mr Hamis Mlongo (72), a fisherman at Kivukoni fishing market

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