The Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) will next week launch the Month of Youth Against AIDS (MYAA) in Palapye.
The 2012 MYAA will be unique because for the first time in its history, it solely focuses on Safe Male Circumcision.
“In the past we have been concentrating on behavior change amongst the youth and now we have shifted our focus to male circumcision,” said Wanetsha Mosinyi, Public Relations and Strategy manager, BNYC.
“BNYC took a deliberate decision that 2012 MYAA will focus on mobilising young people to uptake SMC, in an effort to support the national strategy,” he said.
The event will run under the Theme: “Take Responsibility, Take Action” and the Tagline being “Wise up…Be smart, Get Trimmed”.
In June 1996, Botswana National Youth Council, Botswana Christian Council, AIDS/STD Unit under the Ministry of Health and the Department of Culture and Youth realized the need to formulate a strategy to upscale HIV and AIDS interventions to groups not initially targeted in the fight.
The Government of Botswana then designated March as The Month of Youth Against AIDS (MYAA), a month during which young people, in collaboration with various partners, hold HIV and AIDS sensitization, community mobilization and outreach, and advocacy campaigns throughout the country.
“We are targeting at least 15 000 youths to be circumcised during this period,” he said.
Month of Youth against AIDS is held every year with the intention to raise the nation’s (especially youth) HIV and AIDS awareness level and to enhance their resolve to fight the pandemic.
Mosinyi said there will be designated doctors to perform the procedure in various areas at no costs.
“I encourage the youths to be smart and bold and get circumcised this month,” he said.
Activities for this year’s MYAA include mobilising youth to undergo circumcision at designated hospitals and mobile clinics. After Palapye, the campaign will cover areas such as Serowe, Maun, Gaborone, Francistown, Kanye, Mochudi and Molepolole.
This year’s MYAA will be held on the 28 February 28th, 2012 in Palapye at Palapye Technical College (Sports College). The Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Show Kgathi, is expected to grace the occasion.