Juru growth point and Nyamapanda Border Post have the highest concentration of commercial sex workers in Mashonaland East province, the National Aids Council (Nac) has said.
by Jairos Saunyama
Nac latest statistics which were provided by an organisation called Sisters With A Voice indicated that between January and May this year, of the 493 sex workers who visited their sites dotted across the province seeking counselling services, 165 were from Nyamapanda, while 122 were from Juru.
According to the report, this year only, Mutoko had 66, Murewa 62, while Marondera had 78 sex workers visiting the sites in pursuit of safe sex education.
Between 2009 and May 2015, Juru recorded 1 444, while Nyamapanda had 1 448.
During the same period, Marondera recorded 278, Murewa 1 035, while Mutoko recorded 1 099.
Speaking to NewsDay, Nac provincial Aids co-odinator Wilfred Dube said the figures were likely to rise following the recent Constitutional Court ruling that stopped the harassment of presumed commercial sex workers.
“We held a meeting with government provincial heads, NGOs [non-governmental organisations] and the private sector, among others, to share the information on critical events and programmes as far as HIV and Aids is concerned in Mashonaland East province. So in sharing experiences and network for the sake of creating synergies in the national response to the pandemic, we disclosed information on the number of commercial sex workers frequenting some sites in the province,” Dube said.
“Nyamapanda Border Post has the highest number because of the truck drivers who provide service to CSWs (commercial sex workers). The drivers can stay at the border for three days waiting to clear their loads, thereby being biggest customers to CSWs.”
He added: “Because of the recent ruling by the Constitutional Court barring police from harassing prostitutes, we are expecting to record a higher number of CSWs for they are no longer in fear. It was hard to hold a meeting with them because of mistrust and fearing to be bundled by police, but we now hope for the better.”
The report also stated that women treated for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) this year in Nyamapanda were 106, while Juru recorded 83.
Between 2009 and May 2015, about 793 women were treated of STIs in Nyamapanda with Juru recording 667 cases.