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News - Date: 22 December 2018
Written by: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho / Viewed: 2277
Sex workers operating within and around Vhembe District were advised to take caution during the festive season because some criminals might take advantage of them.
In an event organised by Munna Ndi Nnyi, in partnership with the Wits Reproductive Health Institute (WITS RHI) and the Limpopo Department of Health, the sex workers benefited from the workshops and sex health education sessions that formed the core part of the event.
Munna Ndi Nnyi's Dr Bardwell Mufunwaini said that he was mostly concerned about the safety of the sex workers if they were not well informed about unscrupulous individuals who might take advantage of them. “We are now in the festive season holidays where the crime rate sometimes goes up because there are people who hardly respect others,” he said.
“Therefore, don't walk alone in the deserted parts of the towns or any places where you operate your business. Try to walk in groups to prevent the possibility of being identified by criminals as vulnerable people or possible targets.”
Mufunwaini further called upon the communities to at least respect the rights of sex workers and their persons. “They are fellow humans, and if you don't understand their work and who or what they are, that doesn't give you a right to either harass or victimise them. Some people who call sex workers names are sex workers too, who operate from the comfort zones of their own houses – but the fact is that what they are involved in is sex work.”
During the event, services provided on site included HIV tests and the instant provision of ARVs; TB and diabetes screening; family planning and contraception provision; sex health education and referrals to clinics for continued consultation.
The WITS RHI's Vhembe District site manager, Ms Thandi Manzini, said that her office had been looking forward to working with Munna Ndi Nnyi on issues of health. “This is the day that we have been waiting for, that we reach out to people here in Vhembe District with readily available health services,” Manzini said.
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The co-ordinating nurse at Munna Ndi Nnyi, Ms Ntakadzeni Masiagwala, educates a group of sex workers.
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.