The fourth edition of the Southern African Regional Students and Youth Consortium (SARSYC) conference on health and education has ended in Malawi with former Zimbabwe Health Minister and Society for Aids in Africa (SAA) president, Dr David Parirenyatwa, assuring delegates of his commitment to taking the consortium to the continental stage.
Dr Parirenyatwa was addressing hundreds of youths drawn from southern African countries including Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa, Malawi and Zimbabwe in Lilongwe, Malawi.
“It is time for an organisation like SARSYC to come on board so that we work together. This should be immediate. We want SARSYC on board as well as SAA now. We want the youths to contribute towards efforts to curb the spread of HIV in Africa,” Dr Parirenyatwa said.
“We have the highest HIV prevalence among young people in Africa and we need to do thorough research to establish the reasons behind the spread of this epidemic. This is the time to act. I am convinced that whatever we have been doing there is something missing..”
Guest of honour at the conference, Malawian Youth and Sports Minister Richard Chimwendo Banda said:
“It is an important conference because it brings together SADC countries to discuss mutually shared problems that young people face in our respective countries; Issues like drug and substance abuse, Sexually Transmitted Infections, teenage pregnancies and unsafe abortions. Parliament is involved in these conversations because they are tied to policies and laws in our respective countries in Southern
Founded in 1989, the Society for Aids in Africa is the custodian of the International conference on Aids and STIs in Africa (ICASA) and collaborates with national, regional, continental and international organisations to support governments’ responses in the fight against HIV and AIDS.