HIV/AIDS

27 February 2001

Bleak Aids message for SA schools

An estimated 300 000 pupils in South African schools are likely to die of HIV/Aids in the next ten years if drastic measures are not taken to prevent them from becoming HIV/Aids-infected.

An estimated 300 000 pupils in South African schools are likely to die of HIV/Aids in the next ten years if drastic measures are not taken to prevent them from becoming HIV/Aids-infected.

In Mpumalanga alone, 30 000 pupils could die in the next ten years the province’s education MEC Craig Padayachee said at the opening of new classrooms at the Mvuzo Primary School in Middelburg on Monday.

Although these figures are estimates based on current statistics, they could become a reality if sex education in schools was not taken seriously.

A Medical Research Council employee explained that the figures were probably based on a study conducted by the national education department. The study report has not yet been released.

Padayachee shocked teachers by asking why they found it necessary to continue teaching the children, as all of them were going to die if without proper sex education. He announced that sex education would be instituted at all primary and high schools in Mpumalanga before the end of June this year.

Teachers were asked to view the situation in a serious light, before South Africa became "a nation of old people without a work-force", of sick orphans and millions of graves.

 

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HIV/Aids expert

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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