Vo­da­com con­cert spot­lights HIV/AIDS

Lesotho Times - - Weekender -

A STAR-STUD­DED line-up of South African and lo­cal artists are billed to rock Thaba Bo­siu Cul­tural Vil­lage for a wor­thy cause dur­ing the Moyo Ben­e­fit Con­cert slated for 9 April 2016.

The mu­si­cal festival is the brain­child of Vo­da­com Le­sotho with sup­port from the Voda­fone Group com­pa­nies to bring aware­ness on the plight of peo­ple in­fected with the HIV/ AIDS pan­demic.

The ini­tia­tive is part of the Voda­fone Foun­da­tion’s Moyo Le­sotho Pro­gramme aimed at sup­port­ing chil­dren and preg­nant women liv­ing with HIV/AIDS and us­ing the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions’ giant’s mo­bile tech­nol­ogy to link them to much needed care. The pro­gramme is held in partnership with the Min­istry of Health, USAID and other global pri­vate part­ners.

Ac­cord­ing to the head of the Moyo Le­sotho Pro­gramme, Dee Har­low, the festival is meant to draw peo­ple’s at­ten­tion to pae­di­atric HIV/AIDS cases which in turn would help spread the word about the life-chang­ing ini­tia­tive.

She said the en­ter­tain­ment line-up would fea­ture South African and Le­sotho heavy­weights such as Nathi, Mafik­i­zolo, Oskido, Bu­cie, DJ Shimza, Ok­malumkoolkat, AKA, Nasty C, Te­bogo, Tšepo Tšola, Bhu­daza, Sen­tšo, Vesta, Li­nah, L-tore, Con­verse Heroes, Hunky D and Pablodj, among oth­ers.

“The con­cert will be an op­por­tu­nity and plat­form for all stake­hold­ers to show that we are be­hind Ba­sotho in pro­mot­ing health, hence the Vo­da­com slo­gan “Mo­bil­is­ing health­care…reach­ing You,” Ms Har­low said.

“Artists are very in­stru­men­tal in bring­ing peo­ple to­gether and have helped Vo­da­com raise aware­ness on dif­fer­ent ini­tia­tives. That is why we de­cided to struc­ture the launch of our pro­gramme in that way.

“We are hop­ing that peo­ple who at­tend the show will spread the mes­sage in their com­mu­ni­ties af­ter the con­cert.”

She said the pro­gramme’s mis­sion was to iden­tify and as­sist chil­dren and women in­fected with the pan­demic.

“We need to fo­cus our at­ten­tion on chil­dren, es­pe­cially those liv­ing with HIV who have not yet been iden­ti­fied. We are hop­ing that par­ents and com­mu­ni­ties will join in and en­cour­age ev­ery­one to get their chil­dren tested and start treat­ment,” said Ms Har­low.

“We should come to­gether and give a voice to women and chil­dren, es­pe­cially those who are sick and un­em­ployed, and help them to live healthy lives.”

Un­der the Moyo Le­sotho Pro­gramme, mo­bile out­reach clin­ics con­duct monthly vis­its to dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties, work­ing four days in a week in Maseru and Leribe dis­tricts and pro­vid­ing var­i­ous health ser­vices par­tic­u­larly to preg­nant moth­ers and chil­dren liv­ing with HIV/AIDS.

The pro­gram was launched sev­eral years ago when Voda­fone Foun­da­tion and Vo­da­com Le­sotho staff em­barked on a global fundrais­ing cam­paign. Af­ter lead­ing a con­sor­tium of fun­ders and part­ners, the pro­gramme be­gan last year in April.

“Our out­reach clin­ics op­er­ate in line with the Min­istry of Health’s poli­cies and guide­lines. We com­mu­ni­cate to peo­ple through pub­lic gath­er­ings or­gan­ised by chiefs and com­mu­nity lead­ers,” she said.

“We make pre­sen­ta­tions and pro­vide coun­selling at these gath­er­ings to en­cour­age peo­ple to get tested for HIV, and work to­gether with health fa­cil­ity nurses to re­fer pa­tients and link them to the care they need.

“Vo­da­com Le­sotho is har­ness­ing its strength and tech­nol­ogy to give back to Ba­sotho and to ad­dress the ur­gent prob­lem of pae­di­atric HIV in the coun­try.”

SOUTH African artist Nathi is billed to per­form at the con­cert

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