You are on page 1of 5

Progressive Womens Movement Tshwane Chapter 07-09 March 2008 Presenter: Khosi Mashigo Facilitator: Selina Machogo Rapporteur:

Molebatsi Bopape

WOMEN HEALTH AND HIV/AIDS Illness and death of women has serious and far reaching consequences for the health of their children, family and the community as a whole. The slogan Healthy Women, Healthy World embodies the fact that women/ mothers are and remain custodians of family health, women play a unique role in maintaining the health and well being of their communities. From this premis; Womens health issues have attained international visibility and renewed political commitment. While targeted policies and programmes have enabled women to lead healthy lives. Hence significant gender-based health disparities remain in many countries including South Africa World Health Organization (WHO) - has developed the slogan - You have a healthy Women you have a healthy World nevertheless womens health has in recent years been threatened or have somewhat reversed due to social , economic instability and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. While disparities existing between the low and high earners also impacts on the health status of women. The leading causes of death for women are HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, pregnancy and child birth and malaria. Victims of gender- based violence are primarily women, this is aggravated by poverty. 50% of women in South Africa are said to be affected with the HIV virus, with a much higher death rate as compared to men. This has been made worse by early and unintended childbearing and sexually transmitted diseases. Young women being the most affected, 62% of infected people are young women.

While the rights of people is a constitutional obligation; a womans vulnerability to the cohesion and fluttery remains a huge challenge, coupled with her vulnerability to infection not only because of her biological make up, but because also to deeply entranged socio-economic inequalities. There are still challenges facing South Africa, much the distribution of condoms has been emphasized by the Gauteng government, distribution of condoms still remains as a challenge, the production of condoms has doubled and the introduction of female condoms on lesser scale, education and change of life styles remains an impediment. Services in South Africa are far advanced, as compared to other African countries again there are choices for women to choose where to go. There numerous opportunities for early detection of diseases, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer breast, early detection of the HIV virus. THERE IS A NEED FOR WOMEN TO BE INFORMED Awareness of early symptoms, such as continual bleeding, changes in the shape of the breast, offensive vaginal discharges, lumps, growths and so fourths. Awareness of changes which are normal and expected such as changes in your body- puberty changes Awareness and campaigns can only come through education and information, this is parental responsibility more than peer groups, and there is an urgent need for mothers to realize the danger of not giving a growing child advice, a child who is entering puberty. To warn without educating such as watch out for boys they will pregnant you is not correct. Changes such as menstruation, puberty hair, frighten a youngster if she was not prepared Challenges such early pregnancy should be avoided at all costs, it is then necessary to prepare your children as parents, teach your children to make intelligent choices

Dangers of getting involved with migrant workers, prostitution and truck drivers, and migrant workers become the perfect vehicle for transmission of the HIV/AIDS. Danger of having many partners, at the same still not using any protection, a sad reality is that married women are always at risk .Because of their dependency to their husbands, they offer no resistance, either through fear or ignorance of her husbands outside activities. Stigma: misunderstanding of the word itself and the misuse of it, lack openness and disclosure and fear of intimidation Awareness of opportunities that have made available and how they can be accessed HOW DO WE TACKLE THESE CHALLENGES Voluntary Counseling Testing- VCT is for all, this service has been available in all health centers, CD Counting and its implications and uses. VCT is in South African health centers and confidentiality is mandatory. This has assisted in preventing many child deaths.( WHO has published statistics of about 2million children affected with AIDS) Prevention of Mother to Child Treatment (PMTCT) has afforded mothers to realize the need to grow their children, it is imperative that parents and expectant women should know and appreciate the importance of PMTCT. Breast feeding should be discouraged if the mother is HIV positive, and this should be through continuous VCTs. The uses the milk formula PERLAGON is necessary, its uses be known to mothers Child Prostitution: Tshwane stats have revealed that child prostitution is on the increase, either driven by hunger, peer groups, lack good upbringing and competition, this needs a holistic approach, government shoud close the gap what is termed the missing link Moral Regeneration: this has been a programme that Government has promoted, the former Deputy President Jacob Zuma was charged with this

responsibility, but this has since not been as forceful as was intended. THIS NEEDS URGENT REVIVAL Programme must be sustained, the National and Provincial budgets have increased substantially, this involves; Comprehensive Care Services: Preventive measures: Behavioral changeslife styles Nutritional Programmes ARV programme- accessible centers- CHOs, district hospitals and smaller clinics Home based care- hospices- NGO fundin Indegent programmes- which include indegent burial system People who sexually active should use the services, as long as you have not tested, consider yourself as infected Rehabilitation centers should be set up and counseling centers, with the assistance of social workers and NGOs. Religious Leaders should be educated in regards to HIV/AIDS Nursing staff should be resourceful to the community, they must be seen and regarded as assets Parents should not shy away from their responsibility, children should be free to discuss their physical changes with their parents The community should be made aware of the dangers of free availability of drugs (nyaupe), support groups to fight this problem should be set up as a matter of urgency- Do not shy away from starting these support groups Education of teachers on HIV/AIDS is ongoing, from grades 1 to 12, this is intended to be all schools and LoveLife The morning pill that is available in pharmacies is intended to prevent pregnancy, the morning after a rape, unintended sex, it should not be used for any other purpose The abuse of orphaned children by neighbors should be discouraged

Encourage each other as friends, neughbours, church goers, social clubs to go for VCTs Need to give attention to the boy child, often attention is given to the girl children, this in the future might reverse all the efforts that have been achieved in curbing this scourge Clinics that have for a while been neglected, which are said to be in bad shape, need to repaired as proper health centers- PWMSA TO ADRESS AS MATTER OF URGENCY Rehabilitation centers should be set up, with the assistance of Social workers and relevant NGOs Women to volunteer to be trained in the management of rehabilitation centers Let women be trend setters, do not wait for so and so to begin- Women should organize themselves in setting up these programmes and support groups Churches to work with NGOs, social workers and communities for sustainable programmes. Communities should take charge