As the fight against HIV/AIDS rages on, it has emerged that on average 33 people test positive for sexually transmitted infections (STI) in Francistown every day.
The startling figure was revealed by Itekeng ward councillor, Lesego Kwambala during the launch of local music and fashion show, ‘Extravaganza Golden Night’ on Tuesday.
“Over 3, 000 cases of sexually transmitted infections are registered every quarter in Francistown,” announced Kwambala, who is also the chairperson of the city’s Youth Committee.
The youthful politician explained this was the number of people who visited a health facility in search of medical attention between the months of April, May and June this year.
Kwambala further reasoned that the actual number of people infected with STIs over this 3-month period was probably higher.
“What about those who decided against visiting the clinic? We might be having more unreported cases out there because these 3, 000 people have got an array of sexual partners,” pointed out the concerned councillor.
He said STI incidents were exacerbated by the fact school-going kids are engaging in unprotected sex, gravely adding the age range of infected ladies includes students at primary level.
“Do you know that some are falling pregnant for the second or third time at the age of 15 and 16 in Francistown?” he continued, warning it was not unheard of for some of the city’s students to participate in ‘sex parties’
“In the same quarter, at least 73 incidents of teenage pregnancy were recorded,” a visibly worried Kwambala told reporters.
According to the political leader, Francistown is currently experiencing desperate times, whioch call for desperate measures.
It is against this backdrop that he is in support of the impending initiative aimed at empowering students about sexual issues.
He challenged the business community and members of the public to augment the efforts made by the arts industry.
As desperate times call for desperate measures, Sesana Arts Agency, in partnership with The Ultra-Chord of Melodies (UCM) Acapella Band, are organising a music and fashion festival to be held at the Francistown Civic Centre on September 7.
“This is a fundraising event for the Diamond project that will be launched in schools across Francistown with the hope of educating and empowering students about sexual education linked with life experiences,” explained Saone Bikitshane, the founder of Sesana Arts Agency.