LUSAKA , ZAMBIA (UNICEF ) - “Brothers for Life,” a mass-media HIV prevention campaign targeting Zambian males, has been launched by the National AIDS Council and UNICEF.
The campaign, based on a successful model in South Africa, seeks to reinforce positive behaviour and asks men to stand up and take action to prevent HIV and AIDS. It also tackles gender-based violence and alcohol abuse, as well as inspiring males to improve their own health – and, by extension, the health of their families and communities.
“The success or failure of our HIV prevention efforts is determined largely by the extent of the involvement of men and boys,” said Bishop Joshua Banda, Chairman of Zambia’s National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council. “The Brothers for Life campaign fits well into our national approaches which focus on high impact strategies against the AIDS epidemic.”
Through a series of high-profile public service announcements, Brothers for Life is taking its message to the masses. The advertisements, which encourage young men to take action to stem the spread of HIV, will be disseminated via television and radio, newspaper ads, and billboards, as well as through community-based discussions and face-to-face communication.
Among the famous Zambian faces featured in the advertisements are the First Republican President, Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, economist and motivational speaker Chibamba Kanyama, national football team players Felix Katongo and William Njovu, and musicians Cactus Agony, Tio, Paul Slim Banda, and Paul Munanjala. International athletes will also be used to spread the Brothers for Life message in Zambia, including FC Barcelona’s and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lionel Messi; Manchester United’s Patrice Evra; South African footballers Teko Modise and Benni McCarthy; and South African rugby captain John Smit.
“The beauty of this campaign is that it addresses gender and power relations in a new way,” said Rick Olson, UNICEF Regional HIV Prevention Advisor for Eastern and Southern Africa. “Instead of just talking to women about protecting themselves against HIV, Brothers for Life seeks to reach boys and men in an engaging way that makes them understand the importance of doing the right thing – not just for themselves, but for women and their families.”
“We support because we believe it is the right thing to do. The best support should come from the heart, out of conviction that you are doing the right thing. We all need to do what we can to fight this scourge,” said President Kaunda. “No amount of effort is too small, everyone should just do what they can do and together we can achieve. You will find us here. Whatever we can do, we will be there.”
UNICEF Zambia Representative Dr. Iyorlumun J. Uhaa thanked President Kaunda for his support in fighting HIV and AIDS.
“We thank you Your Excellency for accepting another request from UNICEF and to support this campaign. Thank you for your leadership in Zambia and abroad in helping to fight HIV and AIDS. This is what leadership is about,” said Dr. Uhaa. “We hope Brothers for Life will make a difference. We want men of strong character to talk with other men about how they can protect themselves and their partner from HIV.”
UNICEF is working with a broad partnership to help bring Brothers for Life to Zambia including the Ministry of Health, NAC, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, UNAIDS, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Champ, Communications Support for Health, the Zambia-led Prevention Initiative, among others.
Funding support for Brothers for Life Zambia comes from a generous contribution from UNICEF Denmark.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit www.unicef.org
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Updated 1956 days ago Article ID# 1215594