Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
South African Project Educates Rural Women About HIV/AIDS Through Zulu Craft
U.N. IRIN/AllAfrica.com on Tuesday profiled the Siyazama Project, an initiative established by the Department of Graphic Design at the Durban Institute of Technology in South Africa that aims to educate rural women about HIV/AIDS through the Zulu craft of beaded dolls. During weekly doll-making sessions, a group of Zulu women are provided with HIV/AIDS education and prevention information from doctors, traditional healers and people living with HIV/AIDS. They also are given information concerning nutrition, home-based care and treatment. "Through such a straight-talk approach, we want to break the silence surrounding the pandemic," Kate Wells, head of the project, said, adding, "In the beginning it wasn't easy to get them to listen. There was lots of giggling during the sessions, and when the women started to spread the information in their homes some were beaten up by their husbands." However, a few months after the project's start, the women began to "gain the respect of their communities," particularly when many people in the rural areas of KwaZulu Natal province started dying from AIDS-related causes, according to AllAfrica.com. Although the sessions are aimed at a relatively small group of doll makers, the women spread the knowledge about HIV/AIDS prevention and care to larger groups. Since last year, when the women began discussing antiretroviral drug therapy, they have been creating beaded ARV "reminders" and bracelets to remind people to adhere to treatment regimens, U.N. IRIN/AllAfrica.com reports (U.N. IRIN/AllAfrica.com, 9/14).
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