Humana People to People has lost a friend in the untimely death of Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi on 23 January 2019 due to a complication with diabetes. He will remain known as a humble musician who curved his music career to become an international artist who used his influence to sing about HIV and AIDS, gender equality and child rights.
“Tuku” was considered to have been Zimbabwe's most renowned and internationally recognised cultural icon of all time. His singing spanned across 41 years making him a legendary musician whose illustrious career saw him produce 66 albums.
Humana People to People has for some years built a cordial and friendly relationship with “Tuku” which saw him agreeing to accept an invitation to provide entertainment to a multitude of ordinary villagers during an Open Sunday in 2004 at Murgwi in Shamva, Mashonaland Central province in Zimbabwe.
He went on to play at several other occasions as a solo artist and; with Sam and Selmor. He came naturally to accept Murgwi as his “home-away-from-home” as he felt comfortable to associate easily with the audience. We will forever remember and cherish in our hearts his joint performance he gave Humana People to People during the festive breaks of December a couple of years back. What comes dearly to our hearts is his performance with Sam Mtukudzi at the Murgwi a performance which still lingers in our hearts until now.
Popular songs he made include Neria – a counseling song to a widow, Todii – an HIV and AIDS awareness raising song. Todii brought lime light to the epidemic at the time when HIV and AIDS was decimating lives in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa in general.
What made his songs unique was the way he aligned the messages to key issues. He became more vocal on HIV and AIDS matters such that his song Holidays had its proceeds from its sale donated to the non-profit donor organization The Global Fund to Fight HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Tuku’s resilience to stand resolute in following his music passion rewarded him with many accolades and a UNICEF East and Southern Africa ambassadorial role.
TCE field officers have worked in this area for 14 years.
They have built community trust and respect but not everyone can be easily persuaded to take an HIV test.
Humana People to People joins the rest of the world in commemorating the World AIDS Day on the 1st of December. This year’s theme is Live Life Positively: Know your HIV status. HIV testing is on the spotlight as the call for knowing one’s HIV status, to take an informed stand, is becoming increasingly necessary to save lives.
Humana People to People through the Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) programme has for years been carrying out community mobilization activities in Africa, India and China impacting on millions of people’s lives through broader community mobilization strategies aimed at achieving HIV prevention, care, support and access to treatment in affected communities.
The TCE programme has been aligned with the UNAIDS 90-90-90 strategy which seeks to achieve that 90% of all people living with HIV should know their status; 90% of all those who are diagnosed HIV positive to be on sustained antiretroviral treatment (ART); 90% of those on ART having an undetectable viral load. Humana People to People members are working to ensure people know their status, receive the sustained treatment they require, and achieve viral suppression.
Humana People to People has built strong relationships with national government health departments and international health organizations. In partnership, we are committed to reaching each person either affected or infected to gain effective control of HIV and AIDS and TB.
According to UNAIDS - United Nations AIDS department - around the world, 37 million people are living with HIV, the highest number ever, yet a quarter do not know that they have the virus. A newly published HIV and AIDS report from UNAIDS called Knowledge is Power shows that intensified HIV testing and treatment efforts are reaching more people living with HIV. In 2017, three quarters of people living with HIV knew their HIV status and 21.7 million people living with HIV had access to antiretroviral treatment. The report also calls for increased efforts needed to reach the 9.4 million people living with HIV who are not aware they have the virus and the estimated 19.4 million people who do not have suppressed viral loads
Why knowing one’s HIV status is important
Knowing your HIV status has many advantages. It is the essential entry point to HIV treatment, prevention, care and support services. People who test positive for HIV should be linked immediately to antiretroviral therapy to keep them alive and well. Further, when HIV viral load suppression is reached it helps to helps to reduce the chances of HIV transmission.
Knowing your HIV status also enables people to make informed decisions about HIV prevention options, including services to prevent children from becoming infected with HIV, male and female condoms, harm reduction services for people who inject drugs, voluntary medical male circumcision and pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis.
To remain healthy and to prevent transmission, the virus needs to be suppressed to undetectable or very low levels through sustained antiretroviral therapy. And to effectively monitor viral load, people living with HIV need access to viral load testing every 12 months.
How TCE Programme is making a difference
Total Control of the Epidemic, Humana People to People’s HIV & AIDS programme, is centered on the idea that “Only the people can liberate themselves from AIDS the epidemic.” Since 2000, TCE have reached over 20 million people across 12 countries in Africa and Asia, connecting them with the information, services and support they need to live healthy and positive lives.
The TCE programme is based on community mobilization, HIV testing, tuberculosis screening, referrals to treatment, and support for HIV treatment adherence.
TCE Field Officers and volunteers build relationships with communities to provide access to HIV testing in hard-to-reach areas and among the at-risk populations. The people who are diagnosed with HIV are encouraged to enroll for treatment at local health centers. They are connected with healthcare providers to improve treatment uptake, and TCE Field Officers undertake follow-up services at the people’s homes.
In Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia, Index Case Testing is used a method to target the people living with HIV who are not aware they have the virus. The method works like this: when one tests HIV positive, his/her family members and sexual partners are reached out to with HIV testing services. Targeting the people most susceptible to HIV risk means taking responsive actions to make it easy for the ones, who are infected but unaware of it, to get to know their status and access treatment, thus starting to work towards suppressing their viral load.
In Mozambique, Index Case Tracking has seen 38,612 sexual partners tested for HIV of whom 13,154 tested HIV positive in the year 2017. This milestone was achieved in an HIV testing campaign being done by ADPP Mozambique through HOPE Maputo project. In Namibia, the country has achieved success in fighting HIV and AIDS and attaining the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. DAPP Namibia has been running TCE programme for more than 10 years reaching 1.4 million Namibians as a result. In 2017, TCE in Namibia reached 50,623 people with testing, of whom 3,917 tested HIV positive.
People who test negative are further counselled on risk factors and risk reduction, encouraged to take a pro-active approach towards their sexual health and connected with appropriate services as necessary.
On 25 October 2018, ADPP Mozambique celebrated 25 years of ADPP teacher training at an event in Maputo. Today ADPP Mozambique has 11 teacher training colleges spread in all provinces of the country.
Below you can read the Federation Humana People to People’s greeting to this important event.
Murgwi, 24 October 2018
Dear all ADPP Teacher Training Colleges in Mozambique
Dear Students, Teachers and other staff
Dear ADPP Mozambique
It is with great pride that we as the Humana People to People Movement salute you on the 25th anniversary of the ADPP Teacher Training in Mozambique.
The Teacher Training Colleges are true flagships of the Humana People to People sustainable development efforts over so many years. They express the vision of long-term development borne by the people – among which the teachers in any society play a pivotal role. So this celebration must be so loud and strong that it can be felt throughout the Federation Humana People to People – in all of Mozambique, in Angola, Malawi, Guinea Bissau, the DRC, Zambia and India, as well as in Europe and the United States, where members of the Federation Humana People to People have been long-term, consistent supporters of this programme.
The Teacher Training Colleges have created their position as local and national institutions, with their roots firmly in the Humana People to People Movement as well as in the local communities and the school societies wherever they are situated. They have learned from and together with the people around them.
The Teacher Councils of the Colleges are bearer of the pedagogical, communal and human way of thinking and the subsequent practice that characterize the teacher training and that have accomplished so many good teachers as a result.
The Students are always and will always be the main force that drives the teacher training. You who are there as students this year and this day are part of a much bigger movement, created with the start of the ADPP Teacher Training College in Maputo in 1993, and connected with the 52 other colleges in seven countries in Africa and India. When graduated, you will make the number of graduated teachers from the Humana People to People Teacher Training Colleges surpass 40.000. Dedicated teachers are more needed than ever. The job is not getting any easier with time, the challenges are huge – and you are trained to face them.
We salute the Government of Mozambique with its Ministry of Education as the primary partner of ADPP Mozambique’s Teacher Training programme, without whom it would never have been possible. Shared visions, political will to turn them into reality, courage to choose new and different ways, and at times heated debates have characterized this special partnership throughout the years.
We also salute the Humana People to People members who have supported the Teacher Training consistently since 1993 to this day, and who without doubt will continue to do so, trusting the efforts of ADPP Mozambique and the other six members of the Federation Humana People to People.
With this we wish you the best celebrations!
The Federation Humana People to People International Headquaters,
Murgwi Estate, Shamva, Zimbabwe