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Eco toilets boost young women’s health in schools

Eco friendly toilets

St Lewis Bertrand’s Secondary School, one of the top performing schools in Newcastle,  KwaZulu-Natal now has better toilets, thanks to Waterloo SA. The safe  eco-friendly flush toilets are making a big difference for the school and NACOSA’s Imagine programme.  The Imagine programme, which works to prevent HIV and unwanted pregnancy amongst young women, has established Safe Spaces at schools like St Lewis Bertrand’s. In these safe spaces, near-peer facilitators, nurses, and social workers provide a number of services such as testing, health support and counselling. Imagine aims to help girls and young women imagine and bring to life a happy,…

Harm Reduction Q&A

Harm reduction peer educator

Q: What is harm reduction? A: Harm reduction is a non-judgmental approach to policies, programmes, and practices that seeks to reduce the negative health, social, and legal consequences of drug use, drug policies, and drug laws. Q: What are some examples of harm reduction services? A: NACOSA’s People Who Use Drugs Programme works with organisations like TB HIV Care, deploying peer educators like Justin Deary who take their time to know people who use drugs, listen to their stories without judging them. They assist them in accessing programs like Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST), provide methadone to reduce their dependency on…

Zanele’s pregnancy journey

“I didn’t have enough knowledge about contraceptives back then.” Shares Zanele a 20-year old mother. If you have sex, you can get pregnant – even if it’s your first time and even if you only have sex once. Contraceptives or birth control stop you from getting pregnant before you are ready to start a family. Different contraceptives options like condoms, the pill, injections, implants and emergency contraception are available for free at government clinics. Zanele was in grade 12, just about to finish high school when she found out she was pregnant. “Becoming a mom is a big deal, and…

Printing Education Material

CFP-NACOSA-01-2024 NACOSA is inviting reputable printing companies with the relevant skills and experience to submit proposals for the printing and distribution of the printing of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM) learner and educator manuals as well as the Policies for the Department of Basic Education. The LTSM material will be printed for selected schools implementing the NACOSA’s My Journey Adolescents and Young People Programme funded by Global Fund. Please note the terms of reference and print run details have been updated. For details and specifications download the TERMS OF REFERENCE > Closing Date 22 February 2024…

Cervical cancer: busting myths

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. This condition arises when cells in the cervix undergo abnormal changes. Fortunately, cervical cancer is highly preventable, and it can be treated when identified early.  Cervical cancer is primarily caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. Contrary to some misconceptions, this sickness is not hereditary, unlike breast or ovarian cancer. Parents of young girls can protect their children from acquiring the HPV virus later in life by ensuring they receive the HPV vaccine. Vaccination…

Tackling HIV Together

Community based organisations are important because they intensify case finding, increase awareness and knowledge and assist in making people access primary healthcare” – Carole Mdluli, Rophe Community Services The decrease in HIV prevalence by 1.3% since 2017 shown in the latest HSRC survey is a result of collaborative efforts, with donors, government, the private sector and civil society all playing their part. Community organisations, as local advocates, play a crucial role in case identification, raising awareness, and ensuring accessible healthcare. By partnering with these community-driven initiatives, we’ve witnessed a positive shift in a pandemic which once ravaged South African communities….

Good as gents

“At the end of the day, the only thing that is killing us is not talking. We don’t talk to each other. We think we are vibing. We think we are good as gents when we are together, but actually, we are not good because we don’t talk about our feelings. We talk about what we are facing at that moment and then pass. But at the end of the day, when we all go to sleep, we know what is eating us inside.” – Lukhano Mendu Lukhano Mendu was unsure about getting tested for HIV but when he heard…

Youth Summit 2023 Report

NACOSA’s Youth Summit provided a platform for addressing the critical issue of gender-based violence. The summit, attended by 86 young leaders and ambassadors, along with NACOSA staff and partners, highlighted the urgency of adopting a multi-sectoral, youth-friendly, and inclusive approach to combat GBV effectively. The event’s theme, Youth rising against GBV and HIV was shaped by the young people we work with and guided by the principles of the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF). READ THE REPORT >  

Improving Community Safety

To creatively improve harm reduction and reduce the risks associated with using needles and syringes, NACOSA in partnership with Cape Town Central Improvement District (CCID), TB HIV Care and Durban University of Technology (DUT) are starting a pilot project that will introduce public sharps containers around South Africa. Public Sharp containers would be non-penetrable and tamper proof bins placed in dedicated public areas where injecting occurs that people who inject drugs can safely and correctly discard their needles and syringes. NACOSA has been at the forefront of procuring and distributing  sterile needles and syringes through its district implementers to reduce…

Mental Health and wellbeing is key

A time to raise our collective consciousness about the importance of mental well-being and challenge the stigma surrounding mental health issues. This year, we must stress the importance of mental health as a crucial component of our overall health and wellbeing and as a human right deserving of the same consideration and care as physical health. Let’s explore the essential elements of mental health in light of this, concentrating on young people, societal perspectives, and the context of mental health in South Africa. The Unseen Struggles of Young People The statistics are stark: at least 90% of young people aged…

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