In Siluvo, World Population Day was an opportunity to share the results achieved and raise awareness of those yet to be conquered. The participation of local authorities, community and religious leaders, the Governor of the province Lourenço Bulha and the Minister of Health Armindo Thiago was significant, as well as organisations such as CUAMM, which continued their commitment in the health sector, and theatre, dance and artist groups who animated the initiative.

Armindo Thiago highlighted the improvements that are taking place, such as the reduction in maternal and child mortality, the increase in life expectancy (from 51 years in 2007 to 54 in 2017) and the 50% increase in the literacy rate. The challenges still to be faced, such as forced marriages for underage girls and gender-based violence that still affects many Mozambican women, were also mentioned. A further challenge, highlighted during the event, relates to the world’s growing population, which, especially in a low-resource country like Mozambique, makes it difficult to ensure access to essential services, especially in rural areas.

This is precisely why the suburban centre of Siluvo was chosen to organise World Population Day 2022, in order to involve the community and underline the country’s commitment to making essential services accessible.

Cuamm continued its commitment in Mozambique during the event, offering the population HIV screening, chronic non-communicable diseases and vaccinations against Covid-19, as well as setting up a medical station and a blood donation stand. During the day, 43 people were examined for HIV, of whom two resulted positive, 138 were screened, identifying one suspected case of hypertension and two cases of diabetes. Finally, 28 vaccinations were carried out, a satisfactory number that reminds us of the importance of events like this.

The event also placed special emphasis on promoting the health of women and girls, especially in rural communities. CUAMM, in this regard, works in the province of Sofala in the field of HIV, which still has an important presence in Mozambique and affects women three times more than men. CUAMM’s activities include raising public awareness, promoting testing activities and improving adherence to treatment for people living with HIV.

Finally, a topic discussed was how to cope with the direct and indirect effects of the Covid-19 pandemic: on this front, the CUAMM, also thanks to the collaboration with the European Union and the Puglia Region, is supporting the Mozambican Ministry of Health in the vaccination campaign against Covid-19, in particular by supporting the logistics related to vaccination and raising awareness among communities in the most remote areas.

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