BULAWAYO, Saturday, November 30, 1991 — The Bulawayo City Council director of Health Services, Dr Barnett Nyathi, says it is time the community started to regard the AIDS epidemic as everyone’s problem.
In a wide ranging interview on AIDS awareness campaigns in the city, Dr Nyathi said it was up to every individual in the community to participate in controlling the spread of the disease.
‘’People should not run away from the problem. It is the responsibility of those in the medical profession, it is a problem facing the community at large,’’ said Dr Nyathi.
He said that it was important to educate the community because more and more people were dying of the disease and families were coming face to face with it caring for dying AIDS – infected relatives.
‘’At least 369 persons are known to have died of AIDS in the city from January to September this year. This number refers only to those deaths which have been recorded, otherwise the actual numbers are much larger,’’ he said.
The number of deaths was increasing rapidly. In January last year there were 12 AIDS deaths. In June this year the figure was 51 and in August this year 58 deaths were reported.
He said of all the AIDS death, about one quarter were children below the age of two. Dr Nyathi said the situation was very serious because between July last year and June this year 8,8 percent of the children below the age of one died of HIV-related diseases.