About one hundred and fifty 150 Civil Society Organizations, CSOs in Plateau State have joined the world to commemorate this year’s “World AIDS Day” with a public awareness.
The public awareness which started with a road walk from the Photo Tech roundabout, Abattoir junction to old Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH, terminated with public lectures to all the participants.
During the road walk, the Civil Society Organizations who wore T-shirts with different inscription of awareness on HIV, distributed Condoms, flyers to the public and also rendered free HIV testing as part of activities marking the day.
Speaking with one of the participants, Mr. Chungyang Yakubu, the coordinator of COCIN AIDS Awareness Campaign Programme, CAACP, said the day is significant because they remember those that died as a result of the pandemic and also to create awareness to both infected and affected persons.
He said there is need for infected persons to adhere strictly to family planning/child spacing in order not to give birth to children they cannot care for.
“If a partner is HIV positive and they do not produce the number of children they can take care of, it will become a problem to them because economically they will be down, they will not be able to meet their needs and that of the family” he added.
On his part, the Plateau State Coordinator for Civil Society on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Rev. Chris Damcher said HIV/AIDS is still a global pandemic that needs more efforts to combat.
He said the bulk of intervention in HIV AIDS is domicile with prevention from mother to child transmission “in Nigeria today, almost every woman that goes to government hospitals for antenatal must also be tested for HIV AIDS, the testing is being carried out to prevent further spread of new infections especially among the unborn children”.
The guest speaker at the public lecture, Dr. Nathan Shehu, an Infectious Disease Physician from Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH, recommended the strengthening of community health workers who are closest to the people for effective service delivery.
In a goodwill message, Plateau State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nimkong Lar while appreciating the Civil Society for the event, informed them that the Plateau state Governor Simon Lalong is working towards increasing the health sector funding as he has demonstrated in the recent employment of more manpower into the system.
The World AIDS Day commemoration which started in 1988 was the first ever international day for global health which is marked every first of December with this year’s theme as “Global solidarity and shared responsibility”.
The event is aimed at bringing people around the world to unite and show support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.