NUL HIV and AIDS Programme was established in response to the national call for action by all stakeholders to respond to HIV and AIDS through, among others, by the Labour Code (Amendment) Act No 5 of 2006, the National HIV and AIDS Policy, the Higher Education Sector Strategic Plan (2007-2015) and NUL‚s own Strategic Plan 2005-2015 which identified AIDS as a threat. NUL launched an AIDS Policy in September 2009, with seven (7) thematic areas of Policy, Prevention, Capacity building, Care and Support, Community outreach, Resource mobilization and Research, monitoring and evaluation. The AIDS Programme falls under Vice Chancellor‚s office.
NUL AIDS Programme comprises a main committee namely NUL HIV and AIDS Committee (NULHAC) - which is drawn from stakeholders, faculties, institutes and departments that support the teaching, learning, consulting and research functions of NUL. NULHAC has a Working Committee which looks after short-term activities of NUL‚s response. The key personnel for NUL AIDS program is the Coordinator.
NUL HIV and AIDS program provides the following services:
HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC): Under this service, students and staff are encouraged to undergo testing as part of the national Know Your Status (KYS) campaign. Testing is done using national HTC protocols, is free and readily accessible at NUL clinic during working hours between 08h00 to 17h00;
Prevention and Knowledge Building: The Programme undertakes prevention initiatives to reach out to clients at institutional and community levels, through workshops and seminars for students and staff and addresses the seven thematic areas of NUL AIDS Policy;
Support for Research and Learning: The AIDS Programme undertakes research and service audits to inform internal and external interventions. Students and staff access basic AIDS Program data to support additional research. The Program provides periodic reports to internal users and partners;
Healthy Lifestyle Initiatives: The Programme hosts health and HIV/AIDS campaigns in collaboration with local partners to mobilize students and staff to undergo HIV testing, donate blood via transfusion services, check body mass indices, blood pressures, blood glucose levels, health education etc. It commemorates days such as World AIDS Day, Cancer Day, No-Tobacco and TB days among others.
New Projects and National Participation: The Programme undertakes new projects based on the 7 thematic areas. Since the policy launch to date, NUL has implemented at least five new projects namely the NUL-NAC capacity building and services project, the JEAAP project which helped with the first sentinel survey for Pre-Entry Science Program (PESP in 2010) the Association of African Universities (AAU) project which initiated dialogue on incorporation of AIDS into curriculum, the SADC-NUL Project which converged experience sharing among 8 universities in the SADC region and leads the forum that enables sharing experiences on HIV/AIDS among institutions of higher education.
The Programme has one principal staff - the Coordinator. It employs additional staff with skills to implement specific programme activities and special projects in line with the 7 thematic areas. The Programme outsourced HTC Staff via secondment with the Ministry of Health.
Mr. Monaphathi Maraka- NUL AIDS Coordinator
M.A Health Management (University of Luton, UK), Dip. General Nursing (Queen Elizabeth II Hospital Nursing School) Dip. in Midwifery (Queen Elizabeth II Hospital Nursing School)