A team of medical personnel from Rwanda National Police (RNP) are conducting free and voluntary HIV testing to Police Officers operating in Bugesera District and partners including community policing committees and reserve force, and their families, and members of the public.
The move is in line with the RNP health development and human security programme of ensuring a healthy population, supported by the Ministry of Health through Single Project Implementation Unit (SPIU).
According to Inspector of Police (IP) Venuste Niyonsaba, who is heading the camp, the voluntary testing and counseling that started on September 27, will be conducted in all the 15 sectors of Bugesera within ten days.
The exercise started in Nyamata town where over 60 people were tested on day one before 100 others tested in Rweru Sector.
“Besides the testing, we also conduct indoor residual spraying as part of fighting malaria and other diseases,” said IP Niyonsaba.
“RNP understands that law and order goes hand in hand with public health; therefore, we urge Rwandans to know their HIV status. That is why we continuously engage the public in awareness on how to protect oneself against HIV infections including, abstinence, being faithful to one partner or having protected sex,” he said.
“Through public awareness campaigns against infectious diseases, we improve people’s understanding on prevention and positive living,” he said.
He also noted that ample counseling is provided before and after the tests to those who willingly desired to know their status.
“Security and maintaining law and order goes beyond just usual policing, it’s also about policing a healthy community
One of the beneficiaries in Rweru, Jonas Ruhumuriza thanked police for the activity, which he said is essential in helping citizens know their health status so that they can plan for their future better.
“Knowing our status helps plan on the best way of living; you could be negative unknowingly, but when you ascertain this you will also know how to treat your healthy life because as we have been told, you can even live a long life even when you test positive as long as you follow the prescriptions,” he said.
Another beneficiary, Alphonsine Mukamusoni dwelt on the counseling services provided by the police medical team where she thanked the force saying that the counseling message is very educative on prevention and positive living.