NYAGATARE – over 40 spouses of army officers and soldiers in Nyagatare and Gatsibo districts on Tuesday completed a two-day training on the awareness of fighting HIV and Aids.
The training was organized by the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA-Rwanda) under the initiative from the RDF brigade stationed in Nyagatare and Gatsibo.
Speaking in an interview, 2nd Lieutenant Edward Ndahiro, officer in charge of the RDF’s medical unit in Nyagatare and Gatsibo said that the initiative was brought up after they realised the need to also train the spouses of army officers and soldiers who normally remain behind when their husbands are on missions.
‘We thought it was counter productive to only train the military men on the awareness of HIV and leave their spouses behind. We are in behaviour change and communication phase which is why we want to train even their spouses to know how to conduct them selves when their husbands are on long missions,’ he said.
Lieutenant Ndahiro admitted that some spouses to military officers and men are still vulnerable to HIV awareness but expect a marked improvement from the training.
In a separate interview, ADRA’s project manager in Nyagatare district, Martin Rutazigwa said that as an NGO that strives to help local communities to get better lives, there was a need to give support RDF’s initiative of training the spouses of their men and officers.
‘This initiative was not part of our project’s core target in Nyagatare but following a request from RDF medical unit in Nyagatare and Gatsibo, we brought few spouses of their officers and men who were trained in Karongi and Nyamasheke districts to testify to their counterparts in these districts,’ said Rutazigwa.
Immaculee Kantengwa, the head of women cooperative group belonging to army officer’s and men’s spouses in Nyagatare district told The New Times that the training was crucial and they will implement the new methods of fighting HIV Aids in their families.