Construction of the Mozambique-Malawi railway line is said to abetting the spread of HIV at Changoima in Chikwawa district, writes Eunice Pilirani Chitika of mana
Traditional Authority Chapananga made the remarks Tuesday in Chikwawa during the International Aids Candlelight Memorial. He said most young girls are carried away by easy money from the workers.
While appreciating the rail line’s economic benefits to the country, TA Chapananga, who was also the guest of honor at the commemoration, bemoaned that the rail had highly contributed to the spread of HIV at Changoima.
“It is disappointing that many workers who are constructing this railway are fooling our youths especially girls into sexual activities by coaxing them with money hence leading to an increase in the number of our youths not only getting early pregnancies and dropping out of school, but also getting infected with the HIV virus”, TA Chapananga said.
He then urged youths around Changoima to avoid indulging in immoral behaviours as a means of getting easy money, urging them to focus on education.
TA Chapananga also called on government to put in place sustainable behavioral change interventions to prevent young girls from being swayed by the workers constructing the rail line.
District Commissioner Alex Mdooko then urged people in the district to go for HIV testing.
“HIV is real and can never be determined by looking at someone’s appearance. Therefore it is very appropriate to know one’s status because it that helps a person to have a health seeking behavior”, he said.
The commemoration which was spiced up by various poems, testimonies and choirs conveying various HIV and AIDs messages was held at Changoima Primary School ground under the theme ‘Let’s Keep the Light on HIV: Get Tested’.