Advocates launch HIV enlightenment in Lagos schools

AIDSHIVAdvocates have launched a project on HIV/AIDS awareness in Lagos schools. It was part of activities marking the 2016 World AIDS Day. The launch, held at Dolphin Senior High School, Lagos Island, was facilitated by the Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS, a private-sector anti-HIV/AIDS coalition; and sponsored by Total Nigeria.

Pupils from two schools, Girls Senior Academy and Boys Senior Academy, joined the hosts, Dolphin Senior High School, at the event, which the organisers tagged “Awareness and Campaign for Three Secondary Schools in Lagos State.”

Speaking at the occasion, Nicholas Terraz, CEO of Total Upstream companies in Nigeria, represented by Mrs. Uche Ojomo, said focusing on adolescents or young adults in seecondary schools fitted into the theme of the 2016 World AIDS Day — “Hands on for HIV/Prevention.”Of the 930, 000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Lagos State he noted, quoting statistics from the Lagos State Agency for the Control of AIDS (LSACA), 65 per cent were adolescent.

He also disclosed, still quoting figures from LSACA, that over 55, 000 new HIV infections that occurred in Lagos State in 2014 were among youths aged between 15 and 24 years.

That, he added, had made the anti-HIV/AIDS message to schools imperative, if the country must fight the disease and save her youths from contracting it.   That was why, he said, Total Nigeria was partnering with NIBUCAA and others to launch the initiative.

Gbemi Olaniyi, Tutor-General and Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State District 3, the government authority that administers the schools, said through his representative, Olakunle Da-Silva, that though HIV/AIDS enlightenment had been fused into the Lagos Stage curriculum, he was delighted at the scope of intervention programme.

He therefore commended the organisers and sponsors, saying such united efforts would help to fight the HIV/AIDS challenge.Gbenga Alabi, NIBUCAA acting executive secretary and CEO said global statistics showed it was only among adolescents that AIDS-related deaths were not decreasing globally. 

He added that such scary statistics necessitated going to schools to enlighten school boys and girls on the dangers of HIV infection and how it could be prevented.  He thanked Total Nigeria for sponsoring the project.

The event featured drama sketches by the Victory Little Theatre for Development troupe, which taught sexuality and adolescence as they relate to HIV-AIDS, interactive sessions by the pair of Isaac Moses and Tracey Jesse, NIBUCAA consultants.

Others present at the event included Mrs Bolanle Adesanya (Total), Mr. Ahmed Abdullahi (NNPC/ NAPIMS), Mr. Akeem Oyetunde, (Total partners), Bola Jegede (Positive Action for Treatment Access, PATA, an HIV-AIDS advocacy NGO).

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HIV/AIDSNicholas Terraz
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