PUBLIC service organisations have called on Zimbabweans to enjoy the festive season responsibly to avoid unnecessary deaths, injury or contracting sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In separate interviews with Southern Eye yesterday, several organisations implored citizens to value their lives.
“We have realised that during the festive season, people get excited and want to entertain themselves sexually and in the process forgetting to use protection. We, therefore, urge people to practise safe sex during this time of the year,” National Aids Council Bulawayo provincial manager, Sinatra Nyathi, said.
Nyathi urged HIV-negative people, who are at substantial risk of infection to take the pre-exposure prophylaxis pill daily.
She encouraged parents to monitor their children’s movements, saying they were at high risk of contracting STIs.
“Adolescents should avoid vuzu parties because they are not worthy to destroy someone’s life. Parents should understand the movements of their children even during the day. This is because vuzu parties are being done during the day,” she said.
National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi also urged motorists to prioritise lives.
“Drivers should be responsible because some of the accidents are caused by negligence or human error, for example, speeding, overtaking where they are not supposed to be overtaking and overloading.”
In November 2016, 99 fatal road accidents that claimed 112 lives were recorded, while 692 people were injured in separate road accidents.
Nyathi said police would not hesitate to arrest people who engage in criminal activities.
Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) spokesperson, Tatenda Chinoda weighed in, urging drivers to avoid speeding.
“We urge drivers to drive safely and passengers to demand that drivers slow down, if they are speeding. Speeding is one of the major contributors to road accidents and we urge drivers to drive at appropriate speeds,” he said.
TSCZ is targeting a 50% reduction in road fatalities during the festive season through its integrated road safety awareness campaigns.
National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) southern region officer, Sifundo Ngwenya appealed for more blood donations to beef up reserves during the festive season.
“We are calling upon all those who are 16 years and above to come and donate blood so that our blood bank is sound enough to meet demand during this time of the year. We have synergised with TSCZ and other like-minded organisations in making sure that we reduce road carnage during festive season,” Ngwenya said.
NBSZ southern region said it was targeting to collect more than 1 500 units of blood for the festive season.