PERM. SEC CALLS FOR INTENSIFICATION OF PUBLIC EDUCATION ON HIV/AIDS
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth Development, Hajiya Rabi Jimeta has assured of the readiness of her Ministry to partner with relevant stakeholders to ensure that every young man and woman within the age bracket of 18 – 35 is given equal opportunity to actualize their dreams and aspirations despite their health condition and status.
Haiya Jimeta gave this assurance in Abuja today at a 2 day orientation workshop on effective coordination of out-of-school youth HIV/AIDS prevention intervention for participants from the NYSC and state Ministries of youth Development across the federation.
The workshop was organized by Federal Ministry of Youth Development in collaboration with the World Bank, under the auspices of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to provide the youths with necessary skills/capacity needed for the operationalization of the minimum prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The Permanent Secretary who described the youths as the most vulnerable to infection of HIV/AIDS pandemic because they are sexually active and mostly lack adequate information on how to protect their reproductive health, highlighted some factors that inhibit the fight against AIDS as including stigmatization and discrimination, customs and harmful traditional practices, missing support system, lack of information, and inadequate health services among others.
She stated that HIV/AIDS education for the youth is playing a vital role in global effort towards ending the epidemic in spite of the fact that there is no single model of HIV/AIDs education that is appropriate to any country. She therefore expressed her gratitude to NACA, World Bank and other stakeholders for their continued collaboration in combating the scourge.
Earlier the Director, Education Youth Development in the Ministry, Mr. Ikata Stephen in his welcome address has advocated the need to accelerate AIDS prevention and advocacy to reverse the prevalence trend. He said “with national HIV/AIDS prevalence rate at 4.4%, the youth carry a disproportionate burden and 50% of all new HIV infections are among young people”. The Director later thanked the Permanent Secretary for finding time to attend the workshop despite her busy schedule. He also applauded the commitment o the various stakeholders combatting the daunting challenge of AIDS.