World AIDS Day: UNICEF takes campaign to Kaduna rural community
By Mohammad Ibrahim
As the world Mark World AIDs day, United Nations Children Fund UNICEF, Kaduna State AIDS Control Agency (KASACA) target Adolescent Young Persons for HIV test and Counselling in Kaduna rural community in North-West part of the country. It believe that Adolescent, Young Persons AYPS have highest HIV prevalence rates in the state hence the need for them to be sensitized. The campaign took place at Mararraban Jos a rural community in Igabi Local government area of the State. Catherine Kila Ayuba from Kaduna State Aids Control Agency explained that they started the world Aids day with counselling and testing the Adolescent and Young Person about HIV/ AIDS in the local government. " We are targeting the young girls in the community because they are the most vulnerable. If we failed to educate them in a good way if they meet other bad girls they will teach them in a wrong way. "We are also training the young ones in skills acquisition such as Makeup among others.. The skills acquisition will even help them in future to be self employed. When they get married they would be able to take care of their future children and family," she said. On the report on highest AYP HIV prevalence in the local government area, Catherine attributed it to ignorance "Lack of proper knowledge is responsible for that because the young ones around age 16 - 20 years believe that as far as they have girl friend they must have sex. Having sex with her without knowing what is HIV is making the prevalence to be high. " if you discovered we have lot of AYP in this area. The population is high. So we need to enlighten them just as the Demand creators are doing, the testers are also doing.. " if you educate them, yes they will have the sex but they will use condom. This is why with the help of UNICEF we trained the Demand creators, the counsellors and testers to carry out the activities. "They have gone round the communities to do the testing. Now some know that yes if they must have sex they need to use condom." she said. She appeal to them (AYPs) to always have it at the back of their minds that every man is a HIV positive " if they do that the prevalence will reduce because if the man want to have sex with them he must use condom,". She explained further that for the progrome they are targeting 250 AYPS for testing. In his remarks, Ibrahim Muhammed Sani Local Aids Control Agency focal person Igabi local government Area of Kaduna State said it was the first time such an activity took place within the local government. He confirmed that the local government highest HIV prevalence within the state because of their population. According to him, they invited young girls from the community to mark the day. "We are targeting at least 80 -200 young girls from the community. We are targeting these girls because Igabi local government high AYP prevalence rates in the state. We are targeting girls because they usually go to markets and are hardly at home," he said. He explained that even the young boys too are being tested if they show interest. " On this World AIDS day we hope to test all the young girls that came here. But it's a voluntary testing and counselling for HIV / AIDs. " We trained our demand creators at the local government Area with the support of KASACA and UNICEF," he said. Adamu Lawal, local AIDs control ( LACA M and E) Igabi Local Government said expressed happiness for the large turn out of AYPs, particularly young girls. Some of the AYPS were shy to disclose their names but expressed confident that the sensitization will go a long away in reducing the HIV prevalence among young persons in the community.
The Oslo Times International News Network