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HIV/AIDS related deaths amongst teachers
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ)
Circular to Members Number 10 of 2005
September 19, 2005

Your Union has just completed a survey of the effects of HIV/ AIDS amongst teachers in Zimbabwe. The results are shocking to say the least. The following statistics speak for themselves.

Deaths of teachers by province

Province

1 Jan-31 Dec 2004

1 Jan 31 Jul 2005

Harare

89

60

Bulawayo

56

39

Midlands

63

41

Manicaland

56

31

Masvingo

53

21

Mashonaland Central

57

41

Mashonaland East

69

36

Mashonaland West

43

33

Matabeleland North

38

37

Matabeleland South

42

23

     

Total

566

362

The above statistics show that the country is losing teachers at an alarming rate. The majority of these teachers are succumbing to HIV/AIDS related illnesses. As teachers we contribute about $1,8 billion dollars to the National Aids Council (NAC) coffers every month. It is a fact that many of these teachers would still be alive today if they were provided with anti-retroviral drugs. The NAC has to date released funds to the army, police, prison services and other organizations. Yet there are no specific funds or programmes for teachers. It appears there is a deliberate plan to exclude teachers from benefiting from the fund, regardless of the fact that our contribution to the NAC fund is the highest among civil servants.

Our protests on your behalf have been ignored. We have written to the NAC on numerous occasions asking them to explain their criteria for the award of grants. We have also told them that HIV/AIDS is not just a matter for health professionals but is also trade union issue. On all of the occasions the NAC has either failed or neglected to respond to our communication.

Anti-retroviral drugs prolong lives. Teachers need them. We are therefore urging you to write to the following organizations urging them to help teachers get anti-retroviral drugs. You should demand your right to have free or subsidised drugs.

  • National Aids Council. Box MP1311, Mt Pleasant,Harare.
  • Ministry Of Education Sport and Culture Box Cy 121. Causeway, Harare.
  • Ministry of Health and Child Welfare Box Cy 1122, Causeway, Harare
  • Zimbabwe Congress of trade Unions (ZCTU) P. O. Box 3549, Harare.
  • International Labour Organisation (Harare Office) Box 210, Harare.

Please note that the Union has purchased large quantities of condoms. School Reps can pick them up from our offices for distribution to teachers.

Best Regards

Raymond Majongwe
Secretary General

Visit the PTUZ fact sheet

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