14 May 2004

Cameroon: North West : Bamenda Schools Exhibit Awareness On HIV/AIDS

Bamenda — The slogan "ignorance of HIV/AIDS is dangerous" appears to have been well understood by many students in Bamenda. This manifest knowledge of HIV/AIDS was exhibited by three selected colleges notably Government Bilingual High School (GBHS) Bamendankwe, Government Technical High School (GTHS) Bamenda and Longla Comprehensive College (LCC) Mankon, last April 29 during activities organized by an NGO "Caravan No SIDA" that is touring some provinces of the country to sensitise students in schools and colleges on the prevention of the AIDS pandemic.

The activities were characterized by songs, poems, sketches and educative exchanges on HIV/AIDS. They were carried out jointly by health clubs of the schools visited; CAMNAFAW -an NGO chosen to liaise between the "Caravan No SIDA" and the students and finally the North West Provincial Technical Group (PTG) for the fight against HIV/AIDS that made the groundwork preparations and put in place the required logistics. The climax of the two-day activities was a mega concert held in the Bamenda Congress Hall on April 30, attended by many students and animated by some renowned artists. The artistic general coordinator of the "Caravan No SIDA", Foly Dirane expressed surprise at the degree of awareness of the youths in Bamenda on HIV/AIDS. "They knew so much about HIV/AIDS than we thought as seen from their responses to some of the questions we asked them. They are wonderful, responsible and warm", he said.

The interim Provincial Coordinator of the Provincial Technical Group of the Provincial AIDS Control Committee, Dr. Nyamndi Godlove said that the three colleges were selected because they had health clubs. He also appreciated the enthusiasm of the students, which translated their understanding of the HIV/AIDS message. Dr Nyamndi called on principals whose schools did not yet have health clubs to create them The "Caravan No SIDA" is a partnership between the Provincial Technical groups, the National AIDS Control Committee, the World Bank and the African Synergy, all under the patronage of Cameroon's First Lady, Madam Chantal Biya.

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