Mozambique:Campaign against AIDS

Graca Machel is the wife of ex-President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela but she is from Mozambique, being the widow of former Mozambique President Samora Machel, who died in a plane crash in the mid-1980s.

Graca Machel is the Head of the Foundation for the Development of the Community, which is launching a vast campaign to combat AIDS in the provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane, in Mozambique. The Foundation is providing 12 million USD, which it is hoped will reduce the impact of the disease in these provinces, through education and public awareness programmes.

Meanwhile an official appeal has been made to the Association of Traditional Doctors in Mozambique, for a greater involvement of these witch-doctors with the national health service. Aurelio Morais, spokesperson for this association, said “There are many people in this country who have never heard of the disease. It is through us that this message can be spread”.

This is also an opportunity to teach the witch-doctors basic rules of conventional medicine, such as not using the same blades to cut their patients, a practice frequent in Mozambique.

However, the traditional doctors are closer to the population in the interior of the country and will be able to explain the dangers of AIDS in words and concepts that the people understand.


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