On the 02 March 2012, The Health Department Tutume Sub District in conjunction with Nata Men's sector committee and Nata Aids & Orphan Trust held a forum in Sepako village which is situated 60 km from Nata. The reason why Sepako village was chosen is because of the problems concerning the spread of HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancies caused by elder men. The Sepako village Kgosi, Kgosi Ramaditse did mention that he was fully aware of this problem in the village and he advised the men to stop this abuse of teenagers.These teenagers don't get to finish their school due to these pregnancies thus reducing their education level.
This forum was intended for the education of men in the issues of sex. Some of the topics discussed were
1) Alcohol Abuse; On this topic some men agreed that indeed alcohol abuse in the village was at a very high rate and that people do not behave well after drinking. They were advised to reduce their alcohol intake.
2) Condom use; Almost 80% of the men present at the forum were well informed about condon use, even though some said the condoms distributed at the clinic are too small. But during the discussions it was said that if the condom doesn,t work for you its best you purchase comfortable ones.
3) Circumcision; This is believed to be one of the best methods to be practiced in the fight against HIV/AIDS and it was greatly welcomed by all the participants.
Nata Aids & Orphan Trust as an organisation that helps the affected and the infected listened carefully to all the participants so that they can help through educating and support, and to this tune the task facing the Trust is how to address these challenges.The answer would be to implement an outreach program so as to educate all the parties involved. An outreach program could even help to reduce the number of orphans.
The Trust would like to thank Mr Dinko Thuthumo, Mma Rancholo and Mr Witworth Nyirenda for their contribution to this article.