MORE than 1,600 women took the advantage of the 2020 World AIDS Day commemoration by undergoing cervical cancer screening in Mara region, thanks to Ariel Glaser Pediatric AIDS Health Initiative (AGPAHI) for offering the service.
“We have served 1,687 women who were screened for cervical cancer during this year’s World AIDS Day celebrations and some have been given treatment,” AGPAHI Programme Officer, Ms Neema Nasari, said on Tuesday.
This year’s World AIDS Day commemoration was held at regional level and hosted by the North Mara Gold Mine at Nyamongo Secondary School grounds.
Hundreds of people, including communities surrounding the gold mine turned up for screening.
“We also get involved by mobilising gold mine workers and the contractors working at the mine to undergo voluntary HIV testing,” said Mr Simon Sanga, a representative of the North Mara General Manager.
The gold mine is operated by Barrick Gold Corporation in partnership with the government of Tanzania through Twiga Minerals Corporation.
“We have been commemorating World AIDS Day since 2010 inside the mine. This time around, we have decided to involve local communities,” the gold mine’s Occupation Health and Safety Manager Mr Reuben Esikia Ngusaru said.
Speaking during the occasion, Mara Regional Administrative Secretary Ms Caroline Mthapula called for continued joint efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in the region.
She also congratulated North Mara Gold Mine, AGPAHI and all other stakeholders who made the 2020 Word Aids Day a success story.
“Let us all work hard to lower HIV infection rates in our region from 3.6 per cent to zero by 2030,” said Ms Mthapula who was guest of honour at the occasion representing Mara Regional Commissioner Adam Malima.
She said although the rate of HIV infection has declined in the country, according to available figures, the war has to go on to stop any new infections.