SA politician, Mamphela Ramphele is quoted as saying, ‘Our economy cannot grow unless there is radical transformation of our socio-economic system.’
Like links in a chain, South Africa’s socio-economic system is dependent on many factors for this improved growth. Epicentre, a Durban-based company, is very aware of this and are proud to be a part of a project, which forms a necessary and vital link in SA’s chain of socio-economic, radical transformation.
Epicentre, founded in 2001, is actively involved in public health research and the implementation of targeted health programmes that have vast impact.
Projects are strategically implemented in partnership with local stakeholders such as the Department of Health, local businesses, schools, tertiary institutions, the South African Police Service, community policing forums, faith-based organisations and other funded partners.
In addition, all projects are backed by strong accounting and risk management systems, resulting in clean audits in line with respective grant requirements.
Epicentre’s latest Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision (VMMC) project funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), a United States governmental initiative to address the global HIV/Aids epidemic, is designed to protect men and women from HIV transmission and help end the HIV epidemic in South Africa.
“Conservative estimates are that VMMC is effective in protecting 60 percent of men and 30 percent of the women, who are partners of these men, from HIV. Protection from common STI’s and urinary tract infections in men, with protection from cervical cancer and STIs in women, are among the added health benefits,” explained CEO of Epicentre, Cherie Cawood.
This free VMMC programme is aimed at males between the ages of 10 and 29, as this is the age group where the highest incidence of death occurs.
Used in conjunction with a comprehensive prevention package, VMMC remains the only one-off intervention that curbs the risk of HIV infection and is highly cost effective.
In the current highly negative climate for South African youth, the positive hope of improved health is indeed an important link in the chain of transformation. Not only is there a promise of better health prospects, the young men feel a sense of purpose in being able to make this very adult, life-improving decision for themselves.
“As each link counts, so this radical transformation will only be bought about link by link. VMMC proves a valuable step in the process of bringing about this necessary goal of a better life for all,” she concluded.
For more information regarding the VMMC project, visit www.epicentre.org.za or call 086-148-2442 or 031 765-2028.