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Regional Resource Centre: the foremost HIV/AIDS information resource
January 24, 2006
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was the first person in Zimbabwe to go public about their HIV status?
Are you interested in finding out how the Zimbabwean media has been
covering HIV/AIDS issues since the 80's? Whatever your question
is, as long as it's about HIV/AIDS you will find the answer at Zimbabwe's
foremost information resource centre on HIV/AIDS.
Located in Avondale
in Harare, the Southern
Africa AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS) Regional
Resource Centre boasts a bibliographic database with over 10 000
indexed publications, books, journals, research reports, manuals
and conference papers.
centre also has a wide range of multimedia resources, which include
CD-ROM databases with full text documents and abstracts, and a collection
of videos that cover the whole collection of STEPS For The Future,
a collection of unusual stories of individuals who are confronting
their lives in a society that is changing under the impact of HIV/AIDS.
is catered for at the SAfAIDS Regional Resource Centre. Parents
can even bring their children to the Children's Corner which has
literature about HIV/AIDS written specifically for children.
Juliet Mkaronda, SAfAIDS Regional Resource Centre Coordinator, the
resource centre is a one-stop shop for all the information you need
on HIV/AIDS. Ms Mkaronda adds that the walk-in centre caters for
people of all ages and the information is not only about Zimbabwe
but also includes global developments in HIV/AIDS - listen
to audio file
The centre is
also pro-actively involved in disseminating new information to various
stakeholders via an email newsletter, over the phone and through
their website. The centre houses an immaculate Internet room with
four computers. This service is offered at a nominal fee.
Mkaronda said, "we do not wait for our users to come to the
resource centre to get information, we disseminate information to
our partners without them having to ask for the information."
Joshua Chigodora an officer from the centre says that the centre
also targets partner institutions, programme officers, policy makers,
researchers and students.
When asked what
kind of information people are looking for, Ms Mkaronda said that
she had seen some changes in the type of information being requested
over the years. "6 years ago people would walk into the centre
requesting information on prevention but today the requests revolve
around access to treatment. People want to know statistics for the
region and how far progressed Zimbabwe is in terms of treatment,"
said Ms Mkaronda.
made access to information on HIV/AIDS easier not only for Zimbabweans
but for people in the region. In 2005 SAfAIDS launched resource
centres in other Southern African countries including Botswana,
Zambia, Namibia and Malawi. These satellite resource centres have
been set up along the model of the main centre in Harare.
information on HIV/AIDS is more easily available, the major drawback
is that this information is mostly available in English. "We
do have some material in local languages but I must admit that it
is very limited" said Mr Chigodora. In an effort to generate
more local content in Shona and Ndebele, SAfAIDS is looking at working
with local partners to establish information kiosks that will be
responsible for finding and generating local content in local languages
that in turn will be supplied to the main centre. A project for
repackaging content in Shona and Ndebele is on the cards with partner
organisations that work at grassroots level - listen
to audio file.
SAfAIDS Regional Resource Centre has created an extensive network
of partners, academic institutions and individuals over the years
that assist in supplying information on the latest developments
in HIV/AIDS. Mr Chigodora adds that Internet discussion forums are
a valuable source of new information.
Regional Resource Centre does not lend out books, videos or journals.
However, people are allowed to make photocopies at a minimal charge.
Videos can only be viewed in the video room.
It is time you
made your way to the SAfAIDS Regional Resource Centre - it is one
place were you will not be advised that the book or video you are
looking for is out of the library!
Regional Resource Centre is located 17 Beveridge Rd, Avondale, Harare,
Zimbabwe. It is open from 8am - 430pm, Monday to Friday.
For more information
visit the SAfAIDS website www.safaids.org.zw
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