|We know we've published this picture before but we're just so darn proud!|
"Our participation was an unqualified success," says Mzi Tskikitsha, Programme Manager of the Testing and Social Mobilisation Programme, an initiative operated in partnership with the Gauteng Department of Health.
"To be honest, we were somewhat nervous before, as we've operated mostly in the Black community and knew, a large proportion of show-visitors are white. We did not know what to expect or how we'd be received.
"But we need not have worried. The response was fantastic. Over 900 people, approximately two thirds of whom were women, made use of the free testing and screening services on offer," he says.
On-the-spot tests were done for HIV, high blood-pressure and high blood-sugar and, where necessary, people were counselled by trained counsellors and referred to clinics and other medical facilities.
"What we discovered is, there may be a misconception that HIV is not a problem in the white community," says Mzi. "But a surprising number of people tested positive and it is obvious, a great deal of work needs to be done and we are already formulating plans to do so.
"Urgent intervention is required."
A highlight of the Randfontein Show was when the Carryou/Gauteng Department of Health, screening and testing stall was awarded second place in its category.
"This is an amazing achievement, as it was the first time we had a stand at the show," says Mzi.
"The award made us feel appreciated, gave us confidence and filled us with pride. It made us feel a part of the whole community."