Story by Patricia Mtero
Second year Social Work
Time and health are two valuable assets that people do not recognize and appreciate until they have been depleted. On Friday the 17th of March 2023, the Africa University Community held a campus-wide event known as the Health Fair under the theme Equalize. The theme is a call to action, for all to work towards proven practical actions needed to address inequalities to help end HIV/AIDS.
The intent for having this event was to impart and remind the Africa University community about health-related issues and concurrently commemorate World Aids Day. The event provided an opportunity to learn more about HIV and AIDS, mental health, and physical health as well as encouraged HIV self-testing for all attendees. A health fair in general, can be delineated as an excellent way to efficaciously promote a health concept or medical device, engage community members, or simply teach children or students about the importance of taking care of their bodies. Health fairs are an essential part of education and preventative medicine and they can also enable early treatment of certain conditions. Health fairs not only provide general information about good health and preventative medicine, but they also often offer screenings and assessments as the likes of blood pressure or cardiovascular health, that can detect a problem and get attendees on a track to a healthier self.
The event began with a march which was being led by the ZPCS band who drew the attention of multitudes. After the march were presentations from Dr Maturure (the Africa University Librarian) as well as Sister Tsitsi Murapa (Africa University Sister-in-Charge). The panel discussed the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, as well as the dangers of unprotected sex and the effects of HIV/AIDS. The panel also addressed issues such as the importance of safe sex, the use of condoms, and family planning methods.
The event also featured a variety of physical activities such as a balloon fight, Zumba dances and martial arts. The event was a great success, and those in attendance left feeling empowered and motivated to make healthier life choices. It also provided a platform to discuss the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS, the importance of self-care, and preventative measures.
Exhibitors present were Manicaland State University, ACE Ambulances, National AIDS Council, SAY WHAT, PULSE Pharmaceuticals, AHF, New Start Centre, FACT, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, Mutare Teachers College, Mutare Polytechnic and Magamba Teachers College.