Theologian and traditional African leader Reuben Marinda of the Chiwara dynasty speaks during an HIV-AIDS dialogue in Harare, Zimbabwe. The chief has been a leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the country by raising awareness with men and boys. Photo by the Rev. Taurai Emmanuel Maforo, UM News.
By the Rev. Taurai Emmanuel Maforo
Oct. 24, 2019 | HARARE, Zimbabwe (UM News)
Theologian and traditional African leader Reuben Marinda of the Chiwara dynasty is a Zimbabwean leader in raising awareness with men and boys in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
The chief is a rare mix of theologian and a custodian of African cultural and traditional values and norms.
The training The United Methodist Church invested in Marinda — or Chief Chiwara — is paying off, said Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa.
“He is very much involved in advocating for self-care in terms of HIV and AIDS, and this is a tremendous contribution from a traditional leader and a theologian like him.”
Chief Chiwara was among the attendees of the “High Level Dialogue with Traditional and Religious Leaders” event co-hosted by UNAIDS and Padare Enkundleni Men’s Forum on Gender at Cresta Lodge in Harare.
The National AIDS Council, the Ministry of Health and Child Care and President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief facilitated the meeting.
The workshop, attended by 65 men, was intended to improve advocacy for HIV-related services, support achievement of globally agreed-upon fast-track goals and improve HIV outcomes for men, boys, women and adolescent girls.
“If we close the gap among males, we will reduce the infections happening in women,” said Dr. Angela Mushavi, of the National Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission organization and pediatric HIV coordinator with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, who emphasized the need for men and boys to get tested early.
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