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July 2, 2010

2

Seke Screening

By Cynara Vetch

Tonight we had our Zimbabwe match. Football is passionately supported in the country and during difficult times it has remained a constant for Zimbabweans. In Steve Bloomfield’s book ‘Africa United’ he explains the importance of the sport and the national team, The Warriors. Steve writes that.

Zimbabwean football was in a bad state, but it could have been so much worse. Yes, the football association hadn’t bothered to pay a national coach for the last eighteen months, and yes, there was clearly no money and little hope of sponsorship to fund the leagues and cup. But during the worst years… at a time when every other part of Zimbabwean life was falling apart, the country’s footballers had managed to compete with some of Africa’s finest. The Warriors had managed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, and

Dynamos had reached the semi-finals of the African Champions League. Given the circumstances, they were remarkable achievements. Against a backdrop of hunger, violence and uncertainty, these teams had brought a slice of normality and success to a country starved of both.

We held the screening in Seke, a district neighbouring Harare. We set up amongst a collection of roadside shops and I went to speak to our partners.

Dennis Dzikiti and Ndangariro Kanonhawa are Programme Officers with Seke Rural Home Based Care. Many of those they work with are too sick or weak to travel and get medical assistance. I asked why it was that their 3500 home based care clients left taking medication so late that their condition had deteriorated to this stage. Ndangariro explained “the whole process takes a long time from testing to accessing the drugs. This community can only afford to have the process done in government hospitals. There are huge waiting lists and the machines needed can break down for months or can’t be used because of power cuts. Meanwhile those that have been diagnosed as HIV positive are getting sicker.” Dennis left his job working for the Department of Social Welfare for similar reasons he said that he was “tired of having people come to me for help but having no resources to do anything about it. Now with an NGO I feel that I can actually assist people.”

The Government of Canada is responsible for the majority of funding for Africa Goal and Denis Langlois the Canadian Embassy representative made the long drive out from Harare with his three young daughters. He was supportive of the project and urged everyone “to keep up the good work.”

Juliet Mkaronda is the Programmes Manager for SAfAIDS who partners with Seke regularly. She is also supportive of their work but admits that the recent troubles in the country have made life hard for those with HIV. However it is her belief that there is a positive outlook for the future “things are really getting better, we have an AIDS levy, which means that every formally employed person in the country pays the National AIDS Council directly a percentage of their salaries. Now with a newly stable economy this could provide ARVS for the majority of those living with HIV.”

We left a community dancing in celebration to a Netherlands victory over Brazil. As we were packing up people clamoured for condoms and we drove away feeling that in Seke at least Zimbabweans are educated and aware about HIV and ready to protect themselves and their families.


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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jul 12 2010

    this post is very usefull thx!

  2. Jul 14 2010

    found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

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