Schools bow down to pressure over HIV tests

Prof Paul Mavhima

Prof Paul Mavhima

Paidamoyo Chipunza, Harare Bureau
FOUR private schools that had requested pupils to provide details of their HIV status in violation of the national HIV and Aids policy, have bowed down to pressure.

This was confirmed by the Zimbabwe Doctors Association (ZiMA) secretary general Dr Shingi Bopoto in an interview with our Harare Bureau yesterday.

He said the schools failed to justify inclusion of the requirement for pupils to disclose their HIV status on forms they had given them.

Dr Bopoto said the schools also failed to explain how one’s HIV status was useful in a school set up.

“When we engaged them, they had no justification for including that requirement. In fact it seemed as if it was done by an overzealous someone who designed the questionnaires.

“The schools where not aware of the impact of such a requirement and they promised to rectify it,” said Dr Bopoto.

He refused to disclose the names of the schools.

Dr Bopoto warned other schools that it was unlawful to do so.

“The HIV and Aids policy is clear that HIV disclosure should be voluntary and for schools to request such results from pupils is clear violation of this policy.

“Any school that could be making this request to its pupils should be guided accordingly,” said Dr Bopoto.

He said ZiMA raised alarm after some of the pupils from these schools approached medical practitioners who are ZiMA members requesting for the tests.

He said all doctors approached refused to carry out the tests citing violation of standing rules and regulation as far as HIV and Aids issues were concerned.

According to the HIV policy, disclosure of one’s status is associated with possibilities of stigma and discrimination.

Section 3.1 of the National HIV and Aids policy on confidentiality states that “Confidentiality means not disclosing private or personal information without consent. Confidentiality of medical information about people living with HIV infection is important because of the risk of stigma and discrimination in respect of HIV and Aids.”

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavhima has since ordered schools requesting for pupil’s status to stop it.

“There is no such requirement and if there are schools doing that they should stop forthwith,” said Prof Mavhima.

 

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  • Vumani

    Poor reporting why does the scribe not verify and disclose the name of the schools, it’s matter of public interest which requires open debate consultation of parents & stakeholders. The schools board need to be questioned about their intentions in seeking disclosure of medical conditions ,was professional medical opinion sought ? Was the disclosure sought to discriminate the pupils ? What were the consequences of not making disclosure?? Has the journalist asked the Ministry to provide the names of the schools ? Have the headmasters of the schools been interviewed about the matter ? Just basic investigate journalism which would provide authenticity & validity of the article dispelling speculate assertions.

    • Brutal Truth

      What do you know about reporting?

      • Martin Chipimo

        I would like to agree with Vumani, he is asking relevant questions which any trained journalist should answer in the story.

      • Vumani

        Cowardly trolls ask irrelevant stupid questions under the guise & cover of nome de plumes, will not entertain & dignify your stupidity & low intellect idiot !!!

  • ZIMBOJAM

    OBVIOUSLY ITS THE WHITES, AS THEY TRY HARDER TO REMOVE BLACKS FOR WHAT THEY THINK IS “THEIR SCHOOLS”, WHITES SHOULD GO BACK TO EUROPE AND LEAVE AFRICA FOR AFRICANS. MUGABE WAS RIGHT EVEN THOUGH HE MAD ALOT OF MISTAKES BUT WHEN IT COMES TO WHITES HE WAS SPOT ON

    • Kabius Kekedu

      100 percent correct. We may not necessarily chase them away physically but we need to keep our eyes pealed on them and ACT decisively once they go behave racist like they attempted to do in this case. These white creatures hate Blacks.

  • LihloLikazulu

    This issue should be raised in Parliament. Any of you Parliamentarians who have never contributed anything…. This is your opportunity to rise and shine. Name and shame these schools. We cannot blame whites before we have all the details of who is involved and they are and they are brought before an independent body

  • guptagupta

    this ministry has never had peace since chigwedere