The Midlands State University (MSU) has said it is targeting to test at least 5 000 students for HIV and other ailments at its campuses across the country this year. MSU held a two-day Health Expo which ended yesterday.Stakeholders in the health sector converged at the institution and offered health related services to students. Acting director of health services at MSU, Mr Tafirenyika Shoko, said the Health Expo is meant to ensure that students access various services at the same time.He said: “We have stakeholders from the health and related sectors at this Health Expo.
They set up stands so that students can pass through and access services they are offering such as HIV testing and counselling, information on cancer, diabetes and many other ailments,” said Mr Shoko
“This is part of our efforts to conscientise our students about the importance of their health which is a form of empowerment. Last year we had 2 600 students passing through the stands being tested and this year we are targeting 5 000 students hence we have made it a two-day affair”.
He said as part of the university’s efforts to raise awareness on HIV, the institution participated at the National HIV Counselling and Testing programme where about 1 200 students got tested.
Mr Shoko said only 0,86 percent of students tested positive for HIV. The move by MSU comes as statistics from the National Aids Council (NAC) show that higher and tertiary education institutions have the highest rate of new HIV and AIDS infections in the country.According to statistics from Nac, the number of new infections stands at 86 708.
The organisation is now advocating for mainstreaming of HIV and Aids in the tertiary institutions’ curriculums.