Nearly one thousand National AIDS Council (NAC) community health ambassadors are set to receive bicycles to ease their transport woes when they go around communities preaching the health gospel in Mashonaland Central.
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Senator Monica Mavhunga officiated at a handover ceremony of the first batch of 130 bicycles on Friday.
Sen Mavhunga hailed NAC for the gesture which will go a long way in motivating peers to influence their communities to get health services through humanitarian work.
“This peer led approach is in line with the Zimbabwe National AIDS Strategic Plan, 2021-2025, and Zimbabwe’s Reproductive Maternal, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition Strategy, 2017 -2021 which notes that health communication is more effective if it involves dialogue and problem solving skills and is provided through participatory or empowering approaches were the communities are actively involved in decision making for their own health,” she said.
“Therefore, in order to strengthen the capacity of community volunteers to do their work properly, it is prudent that they be provided with the necessary tools of the trade, which will result in increased service delivery coverage , efficiency and improved quality of life for all people within our province,” she added.
The community based peer led approach is in line with the dictates of the country’s reigning economic blue print the National Development Strategy 1, which focuses on capacitating communities to take the lead in pursuit of their development desires.
It is also in line with the SDG goal number four (4) on health and well-being, in the process dovetailing well with the Global Vision of Ending AIDS by 2030.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, NAC Provincial Manager Edgar Muzulu said the volunteers were having transport problems when disseminating health information in their respective communities especially in rural areas where transport is problematic.
He said volunteers were important in the distribution of health information and creation of demand for health services.
“These volunteers help in the dissemination of health information to communities; they capacitate them (communities) to have information to be able to prevent communities from being infected by diseases that may affect them.
They also raise awareness for health services as well as at times creating demand for health services.”
The batch of community volunteers that got the bicycles included those in Shamva (30), Bindura (20), Mbire (20) and Muzarabani (20).
Forty other volunteers from Guruve and Rushinga received 20 cycles respectively. Nhau/Indaba