The New Times (Kigali)

24 June 2012

Rwanda: Local Leaders Receive HIV Training

Community health workers and local leaders in 15 sectors of Bugesera District yesterday completed a two-day training in HIV/Aids and Gender Based Violence (GBV).

The training that was organised by Health Development Initiative (HDI) benefited 68 people.

"I am sure that with the skills we have acquired, we will teach the population the best measures to avoid situations that might lead them into contracting HIV," said Jackline Uwimana, a health worker at Nyamata hospital.

The programme is supported by the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), at a tune of $75,000.

Uwimana pointed out that GBV in families can easily lead to contracting HIV amongst couples.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Dalphose Nyamundu, one of the local leaders said that the exercise brought new ideas through which they can guide and prevent the population from GBV cases.

"Some people still believe that fighting GBV means only protecting women's rights, which is not the case," he said.

The head of the programme at HDI, Cassien Havugimana, said the programme is focused on empowering the local population to amicably solve issues that may arise within their communities.

"It is the first time we engage in such activities in Bugesera and we intend to train about 4,184 people," he said.

"We wanted to make sure that people understand the connection between GBV and HIV/Aids." The same exercise was also conducted in Nyagatare district, Eastern Province.

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