“First Things First” is a programme that was launched by the Department of Health to provide and ensure that health services are available within the Higher Education and Training sector. Healthy and productive students are one of the cornerstones of a healthy education system and healthy economy. For this reason, the MEC of the Department of Health in KwaZulu Natal, Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo accompanied by Dr. Ramneek Ahluwalia, (HEAIDS Chief Executive Officer), and Dr. B. Ngubane (Mayor of Amajuba District Municipality) visited Majuba TVET College, Centre for People Development Campus to activate the 2018 HEIADS “First Things First” campaign for KZN TVET Colleges.
Initiated and supported by the Department of Higher Education and Training together with the Department of Health, HEAIDS “First Things First” programme seeks to promote a healthy lifestyle in the Higher Education and Training Sector, as well as testing and prevention of HIV, TB, and STI infections, and to provide a mechanism for treatment for those who are found to be infected.
Through this programme the Department of Health provided College staff and students with a comprehensive package of health services including contraception, healthy lifestyle activities (body exercises), as well as screening for cancer and testing for other diseases. This campaign speaks to the priority of HIV testing and counseling in an effort to mitigate the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS in the youth of South Africa. The need for such an initiative is evidenced by having the highest HIV infection rates in South Africa.