TRADITIONAL chiefs and faith based organisations have attributed their low health seeking behavior to cultural issues of selflessness as well as lack of awareness.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
They also quashed notions that they promoted gender based violence. Speaking at the high level dialogue with traditional and religious leaders, Chief Siansali said it was unfair to blame the Zimbabwean traditional culture and men as responsible for perpetuating HIV.
He said there are so many good things seen in the local culture.
“We have never promoted as chiefs, the issue of domestic violence. Those who do it are just doing it out of their own naughtiness.
“It is improper to use this same to romance a woman for violence,” he said.
Chief Nechombo said there are many positives in the local tradition that has seen researchers from America and other countries to investigate the good about the Zimbabwean culture.
He said he observed that men are too occupied with other things than health
“This is within our culture and we have seen that men are selfless. They spend most of their time thinking about feeding their families and their families’ health instead of themselves. I think what men should do is follow what one author said of men starting to prioritise their health more,” said Chief Nechombo.
The chiefs also said it was about time the local culture was followed as it could be key to reduce HIV.
Zimbabwe Council of Churches president Dr Bishop Lazarus Khanye said after being hospitalized thrice he got to learn that the blood tests being done were for several disease other than the disease he had been hospitalized for.
“After that my frequency of hospital or clinic visits for checkups has diminished because I now know that I don’t have HIV,” he said.
Talent Maphosa from Zimbabwe Aids Network said, “In one of our observations we learnt of men who work at combis who when told to go for testing refuse. What these men say is that I will be too busy at work, if I don’t go to work who will?”