In support of Valentine’s Month, members of Progress Educational Counsellors Organisation (PECO), in partnership with Aurum Institute and Dreams Organisation, hosted a sexual reproductive health awareness event at Sethokga Park recently.
Together with its partners, PECO conducted a healthy lifestyle awareness campaign and provided free health screening and testing, as well as distributing condoms.
Residents were tested for blood pressure, HIV/Aids, sugar diabetes, cholesterol and glucose.
Members of a local clinic based in Mqantsa also took part in the event.
The activities of the day also included soccer for youngsters in the area.
The aim of the awareness event was to reduce the impact of chronic diseases in the community and to increase acceptance, support and tolerance for people living with chronic diseases.
Mr William Kgosana, a project manager of PECO, said they targeted people from Freedom Square and Sethokga Hostel and also invited several primary schools.
We want our community to always be aware of their health status and lifestyle. Residents shouldn’t be afraid to tests for HIV/Aids and go for counselling. It is better to be on the safe side rather than in the dark,added Mr Kgosana.
He said they felt they needed to bridge the gap and deploy counsellors and peer educators who will provide education, HIV counselling, blood glucose and blood pressure testing services.
We would like to see HIV/Aids education, intervention, prevention, care and support being put in everyone’s hands – not in the hands of the authorities and health sector only. It will be wonderful to see people playing a pivotal role towards eradicating problems facing our country and taking charge,said Mr Kgosana.
He added that they wanted to reach out to sex workers in the informal settlements and promote male medical circumcision.
Health promoter of Mqantsa clinic, Ms Zama Cebekhulu, urged the community to check their health status through outreach programmes and campaigns or to visit their nearest clinics and hospitals.
We are encouraging the community to live a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly. People are urged to use protection every time when having sexual intercourse,added Ms Cebekhulu.
Condoms were also distributed to the residents.