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Awareness drives must be daily

HIV/AIDS ribbons.
HIV/AIDS ribbons.
Image: AFP

Yesterday, we joined the world to commemorate World Aids Day.

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the 16 Days of Activism for no Violence Against Women and Children campaign in Lephalale, Limpopo, an annual international campaign that will run until Human Rights Day on December 10.

Soon, we will hear about some launch of a campaign by the department of transport aimed to arrest road carnage on SA roads during this time of the year.

And after the festive season, transport minister Fikile Mbalula, like his predecessors, will release a report about statistics of road fatalities in January and that will be the last time we will hear about such a campaign until, of course, the Easter weekend.

But that will be before the launch of the annual World Tuberculosis Day on March 24. Like World Aids Day, the TB campaign is designed to build public awareness about the global epidemic and efforts to eliminate it.

Our question is: why are such campaigns launched at specific periods in the year? Why can't they be daily occurrences because these are things that we are exposed to on a daily basis?

People die from car accidents on a daily basis and become victims of gender-based violence. HIV/Aids is also cause for concern.

World Aids Day was started by activists at the inaugural Women's Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be co-ordinated each year by the Centre for Women's Global Leadership.

The campaign has played a crucial role in educating people about HIV/Aids and our government has also played its part in this regard.

But we urge Ramaphosa and other stakeholders to treat each day as an awareness day about things that affect us on a daily basis.

Government and other role- players can't only be seen to be actively involved in making us aware about things that affect us daily on a specific day.

It really doesn't make sense to see our transport minister only talking bout road safety on a specific day of the year because car accidents happen every day on SA roads. We hope the nation learns a thing or two from these campaigns, despite the government's habit on picking specific times of the year to highlight them.

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