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Immigration workers review HIV/Aids war

11th December 2012
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Mbarak Abdulwakil

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mbarak Abdulwakil, has called on leaders and senior officers in the Immigration department to have a proper grasp of the various social groups in order to serve all of them efficiently by considering the requirements of each one of them.

He made the call yesterday in Dar es Salaam at the opening of a two-day workshop for leaders of the department drawn from every region, which went hand in hand with marking ten years since a committee to fight HIV and Aids in the department was established.

“I commend organisers of the seminar who decided to bring together regional heads of the department so that they would undergo this training, I urge you as leaders to be keen with the training you're going to go through because, at the end of the day, we want to see positive change," said Abdulwakil.

He said it was important to understand that each community or group had several smaller groups, each with its own needs and requirements, identifying some of the subgroups as gender, people with disabilities and people living with HIV/Aids.

The PS added that the Immigration department has been in the forefront in his ministry in combating the pandemic, and called on other workers in the ministry to learn from the department.

He insisted that education on HIV/Aids would continue to be provided to all so that people would overcome the fear of undergoing health screening to establish their HIV status, whereby those found to be living with the virus should not fear but follow advice that would be given to them by counsellors.

“We'll recall that results of a particular research presented on AIDS Day this year showed that the number of people dying of Aids had declined from 86,000 to 48,000 per year in sub-Saharan Africa, being a fall of 32 per cent," said the PS.

For his part, coordinator of the HIV prevention committee in the department Salome Kaserea Kahamba said that in the past one decade, they had made much progress in fighting the spread of the virus in the department.

She said they achieved this by educating department workers in the whole country so that they would undergo health screening and set aside funds to support those who were found to have been infected.

“The past one year has been particularly successful because we managed to conduct lots of awareness campaigns," said Salome.

However, she said that there were still some challenges, including lack of funds, in fighting against the spread of the killer virus.

The departments Commissioner General, Magnus Urungi, said that time had come for workers in the department to come up with strategies to ensure that no one contracted the virus.

“This education on the diversity within the department should be used as an eye-opener and help us set strategies for our retirement. Let's follow what the facilitators have prepared for us," said Urungi.

He urged all regional leaders to spend carefully the money allocated to them so that the department would improve its effiency in executing its programmes, including providing training to staff members.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN