International Board chair urges communities to value education
Beauty Lukwesa shares her experience during a visit by AAH-I's International Board chair, Dr John Tabayi, and Executive Director, Dr Caroline Kisia, to Mushota, Kawambwa District, Luapula Province, Zambia.
AAH-I International Board Chairman John Tabayi has urged Zambian communities to embrace the value of education.
Dr Tabayi made the call during his visit to areas where AAH Zambia is implementing its projects. “Education is a strong pillar and without it, one cannot aspire to be a better person in the society. Without education we cannot have professionals such as doctors, nurses or even aspire for political leadership,” he argued.
“Success lies in your own hands and that can only come once you acquire education. To parents, encourage your children to go to school and discourage them from getting married at an early age.” He urged parents to invest their time and resources in the education of their children as the benefits of doing so are long-term.
Meanwhile, beneficiaries of the projects AAH Zambia is implementing shared their experiences with Dr Tabayi and Dr Kisia.
Beauty Lukwesa, 42, from Mushota in Kawambwa District, narrated how she had benefited from the interventions. “Back in 2013, I had fell ill and my health deteriorated. I thought it was malaria but instead of seeking medical attention from an health centre, I decided to take herbal medicine. My sickness worsened,” she explained.
In 2014, AAH Zambia conducted a mass sensitisation on HIV/AIDS in the area, and the nature of the messages compelled Beauty to go to an health centre where a thorough diagnosis was done on her. She tested for HIV. “It felt like it was the end of the world but continued to go for counselling at the health facility. Through the support of AAH Zambia, I regained my self-esteem and was put on Anti retroviral drugs (ARVs).”
Beauty said she enjoyed good health and was free to talk about her health status to encourage more people to go for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT).
AAH Zambia's programme has been implementing activities on maternal and child health in partnership with the District Health Management Team, rural health facilities and local community based structures such as Community Action Groups. Programme activities are designed to reduce rates of people living with HIV/AIDS in rural areas and address loss to follow-up of Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS, provide sexual reproductive health services to women and girls and ensure that women who are HIV negative remain so.
Dr Tabayi and Dr Kisia visited Zambia from 6 to 10 June 2016 on a tour to familiarise the incoming International Board chair with AAH Zambia projects.