Members of the Rwanda NGO forum on HIV/Aids met last week to discuss the role of civil society in the fight against the spread of the virus. More than 60 participants from the Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders in the fight against HIV/Aids attended.
Aimable Mwananawe, the chairman of Rwanda NGO’s Forum on HIV/Aids urged the participants to educate Rwandans on the dangers of the virus.
“Get the knowledge from here and tell people, especially in rural areas, how to avoid HIV/Aids,” Mwananawe said. He pointed out that educating people about the scourge and how to avoid it will significantly reduce the spread of the HIV/Aids.
During the workshop, an official from the National Commission against AIDS (CNLS), Florida Batamuliza, said civil societies worldwide play a leading role in the fight against the virus.
“The government cannot take on the big task of educating people on HIV/Aids alone. We need to spread the information and reduce the threat,” Batamuliza said.
“The main problem CNLS faces is that of patients who stop using Anti-Retroviral drugs (ARV’s) and opt for traditional doctors. Some even go to churches, hoping to get healed.” She asked church leaders to stop discouraging people, mainly their congregation, against using Anti-Retroviral drugs.
Bernadine Mukakizima from UNICEF challenged the civil society organization (CSO) to extend their activities to rural areas.