GITEGA September 4th (ABP) – Young people in school are called upon to use their intelligence and foresight in choosing the direction of their future. That recommendation was the leitmotif of the various speakers who spoke during the awareness-raising workshop of around 700 schoolchildren from the eleven communes of Gitega on the culture of wisdom and leadership and on prevention and the fight against COVID-19 and AIDS and on the promotion of reproductive health that the First Lady of Burundi, Mrs. Angéline Ndayishimiye hosted on Wednesday in Gitega.
Under the theme “No to bad behavior in favor of my better future”, the various speakers including the First Lady of Burundi and President of the Organization of the First Ladies of Africa for Development (OPDAD) who called out to schoolchildren in protect themselves against the scourges that would endanger their future. She recommended that they use their wisdom and discernment to adopt behaviors that will allow them to become leaders of integrity, fathers and mothers of responsible families.
In his speech, the Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS invited young people to be prevention torchbearers against the scourges that threaten their future, citing in particular the pandemic of the coronavirus and AIDS. He also called on them to get involved in the implementation of preventive measures and the fight against COVID-19 in order to win the bet of the campaign launched by the President of the Republic of Burundi under the theme “Ndakira, Sinandura kandi sinandukiza”. He thus invited young people to serve as a model in respecting those preventive measures and in raising awareness among the rest of the people.
For his part, the UNFPA representative in Burundi, Mr. Richmond Tiémoko wished the young people good luck and foresight in choosing the direction of their better future. He stressed that the United Nations agencies will spare no effort to support the Government’s initiatives for the promotion and protection of the rights of young people in favor of their integral development.
In his presentation on the generalities on COVID-19 and its prevention, Dr. Bizimana Jean Claude, director of interim programs and health projects at the Ministry of Health underlined the ultimate need for prevention of that epidemic which threatens the world including Burundi. Regarding the state of the COVID-19 in Burundi, he said that the systematic screening campaign continues.
Thus, until August 31, 2020, there was a total number of 24,659 people screened, including 445 with COVID-19, 357 already cured, 87 cases under treatment and 1 death. He thus called on everyone’s commitment to putting into practice preventive measures and the fight against that pandemic.
For his part, Dr. Aimé Ndayizeye, director of the National AIDS Control Program (PNSL) gave a presentation on the epidemiological situation of HIV / AIDS in Burundi. He said that the rate of HIV infection is decreasing nationally but that some provinces such as Gitega still have a high rate of transmission of HIV / AIDS. He thus invited everyone to make efforts to fight in order to achieve the goal of the SDGs of eliminating HIV by 2030.
For her part, Ananie Ndacasaba, director of the National Reproductive Health Program (PNSR) presented a topic on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). He raised the problems of young people in SRH, citing in particular sexual vagrancy, the increase in cases of unwanted early pregnancies, clandestine abortions, early marriages, obstetric fistulas and STI / AIDS infections.
Three young people including a girl victim of HIV / AIDS contamination by her parents, a pupil who gave birth when she was in 8th grade, a young person who interrupted his studies due to the consumption of drugs gave testimonies on the misfortunes experienced. They addressed their thanks to the people and associations who provided their supervision and helped them out of the situations of misfortune experienced. They thus invited young people to break with any attitude that would lead them to evil. They also recommended that pregnant mothers respond to the program to protect against mother-to-child transmission of HIV.