By Novell Zwangendaba –COLOGNE – The global HIV awareness and charity campaign GOALS for SOUTH AFRICA has announced its first official ambassador from South Africa, Dr. Nono Simelela, CEO of the South Africa National Aids Council (SANAC).
Dr Simelela’s appointment comes at the most relevant time as South Africa battles the continual spread of HIV/Aids. According to the latest UNAIDS statistics, more than five million people in the host country of this year’s FIFA World Cup are infected with the HIV virus.
The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) comprises high-ranking representatives of the government and non-governmental organizations, and advises the government of South Africa regarding all issues related to HIV/AIDS and TB.
“HIV and Aids requires a comprehensive holistic response. It is with this in mind that South Africa launched the HIV Counselling and Testing Campaign. This is not only about the testing of individuals (HIV status) but screening for other general health conditions and ensuring access to health care. In addition there is continuous evaluation of impact on service delivery, particularly in public health facilities. It is with this collective effort of raising awareness, and ensuring integrated, harmonious flow of operations in all fields that we can ultimately score goals towards scaling up HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support”, said Dr. Nono Simelela.
Large international aid organizations such as Care, the German Red Cross and action medeor e.V. have already joined the campaign. Renowned politicians such as Berlin`s governing mayor Klaus Wowereit, the Chairwoman of the North Rhine-Westphalian parliamentary group Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Sylvia Löhrmann and Cologne`s mayor Hans-Werner Bartsch are honorary ambassadors of the campaign.