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By Keitumetse Maako


New plan to tackle transmittable diseases in schools

The full participation of education stakeholders is key in achieving the goals of the policy, says Minister Motshekga.

The government has introduced a new policy to tackle transmittable diseases in schools, Pretoria East Rekord reports.

The policy, driven by the department of basic education, will focus primarily on sex education and reproductive health services. These were identified as some of the essential keys to prevent new HIV infections among the youth.

READ MORE: Ekurhuleni learners to discuss HIV/AIDS in speaking competition

Workshops for learners, teachers and officials will be held throughout the country to familiarise participants with the new policy. Communities have been urged to become involved.

The department hopes that sex education will equip learners with the knowledge, skills and efficacy needed to make informed decisions about their sexuality and lifestyles.

It was also identified as essential to strengthening efforts for the prevention of HIV in the country.

“HIV and Aids is no longer simply a health concern, but a developmental problem that affects the social, cultural, political and economic fabric of the nation,” said basic education minister Angie Motshekga.

“Therefore, it must be tackled within the context of the behavioural, economic, socio-cultural and environmental factors driving the epidemic.”

She added that with the evolution of the HIV epidemic over the decades, there has been a need for the department to revise its approach and strategies in the sector.

In addition, there is a need to respond to TB in accordance with the latest available evidence and lessons from implementing the life skills programme.

The policy also aims to show the education department’s intentions toward improving employee and wellness programmes for its teachers and officials.

A new policy for TB will ensure that the disease receives much needed attention.

“We encourage all educators, learners, officials and key stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the department’s HIV and TB policy, as that will enable them to effectively support its implementation,” Motshekga said.

“We urge parents and the community to partake in dialogues in their respective locations and to continue engaging in crucial conversations with their children on sexual and reproductive health.’’

Provincial workshops were expected to be held in order to explore the best way to render the services to the learners, teachers and support staff.


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disease education Tuberculosis (TB)

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