An EDC project that creates health education materials to combat HIV in a beleaguered region of South Africa is receiving attention on The Oprah Winfrey Show this week. Winfrey and Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron highlight the efforts of the non-profit, Mpilonhle (meaning “the good life” in Zulu), to address the serious problem of HIV among one of the poorest populations of South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) province.
EDC is working with Mpilonhle, a local South African NGO, by creating the materials used to educate adolescents from twelve schools in the province about healthy behaviors. Adolescents in KZN face a 50 percent chance of infection during their lives, yet very few receive HIV education or screening.
Mpilonhle approached EDC when developing this program to engage children through computer technology and simultaneously address their HIV risk. Four mobile health and computer units open the window to computers and offer critical health education and screening for 10,000 pupils.
“A stifling stigma surrounds HIV here,” says Scott Pulizzi of EDC’s Health and Human Development Programs, who wrote the materials. “This innovative program helps overcome that by providing computer training along with HIV services.”
Initial funding for this project came from Oprah’s Angel Network and Charlize Theron’s Africa Outreach Project.
Originally published on March 1, 2008