Gift of the Givers handed over 500 food parcels in Kenhardt, near Upington, on Wednesday to commemorate World Aids Day.
GIFT of the Givers handed over 500 food parcels in Kenhardt, near Upington, on Wednesday to commemorate World Aids Day.
The founder of Gift of the Givers, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, said the food parcels were distributed to families affected by HIV/Aids as well as child-headed households.
He added that the Covid-19 pandemic had severely compromised management and care of patients with diverse medical challenges.
“Cancer, HIV/Aids, TB, physical and mentally challenged conditions are but some of them.”
Sooliman also stated that health-care workers were exhausted, drained physically, emotionally and mentally.
“Government’s failure to employ additional doctors, nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dietitians and paramedics (who are required in the thousands), budgetary constraints and pillaging of public resources are but some of the contributing factors.”
He indicated that they would also distribute Woolworths food parcels and wheelchairs donated by Gift of the Givers as part of World Disability Day in Welkom on Friday.
Addressing the event in Upington on Wednesday, Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul pointed out that 22,000 people who were living with HIV/Aids did not have access to antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).
“Forty percent of deaths in the Province is due to HIV/Aids, diabetes and heart disease. It is everyone’s responsibility to fight the scourge of HIV/Aids,” said Saul.
“In the Northern Cape, there are 67,704 living with HIV/Aids who are taking ARVs. The ARV programme in South Africa has supplied ARVs to 5.5 million people.”
Saul stated that male circumcision reduced HIV/Aids transmission by 60 percent.
“Male circumcision has many health benefits. While the national lockdown has affected many health services, more than 10,000 male circumcisions were performed in the Northern Cape.”
He emphasised the need to use protection and to drink responsibly.
“It is irresponsible for people who use ARVs to engage in unsafe sexual practices and to drink so much alcohol.
“Grant recipients are reported to spend over 50 percent of their social grants on liquor,” Saul noted.