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South Africa: Restoring South African Families
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Monday, October 27, 2014
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 27, 2014

Addressing the summit, Minister Dlamini called for a new model that enables government and other social role players to intervene not just at a community level, but also at a family level, in order to restore faith in the family unit as an effective defence to social challenges.

“The summit, a key programme of Social Development Month, is about guiding us towards finding the right approaches and interventions in reversing the trend of the disintegrating family structure in society,” said Minister Dlamini.

One of the topics the summit explored is the roll out of a family and community-based response to HIV prevention.

Kenau Swart and Tintswalo Maringa from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention presented findings of the Families Matter! Programme, which has been implemented in a number of African countries, including Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia.

Through this programme, Swart and Maringa found that family-based interventions are viable and welcomed by communities, as demonstrated by participant enrolment and retention rates, as well as their evaluation of the programme.

They have also found that the programme can be implemented in resource constrained settings, making it ideal for roll out in poor and rural communities in South Africa.

Swart and Maringa also advocate for finding new vocabulary in the fight against HIV. Their view is that a term such as mother-to-child transmission perpetuates the inaccurate perception that women spread HIV.

“Instead, a term such as ‘parent-to-child transmission’ should be considered,” they said.

The summit brings together social experts and practitioners, research and higher learning institutions, traditional leaders, government representatives, faith-based organisations and non-governmental organisations, with the view to finding evidence-based solutions to the problems facing families in South Africa.
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