The National Youth Council with funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Banjul office, recently organised a day's sensitisation forum for 35 youths from the Lower River Region.
The forum, on the theme, 'Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention' was held at the Pakalinding Village Multi-Purpose Youth Centre in Jarra West District.
Alhagie Jarjue, the Programme Manager at the National Youth Council (NYC), affirmed that the workshop was meant to enhance the understanding of the youth, especially on issues relating to sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention. The forum is part of series of similar initiatives undertaken to build the capacities of the youths in the region with a view to empowering and encouraging them to inculcate positive attitude amongst themselves," he stated.
Jarjue went to commend the Government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the support accorded the youths, while calling on them to keep up the momentum to create the enabling environment for more development for youths in the country.
Saikou Darboe, the Regional Youth Chairperson for LRR, commended the participants for the large turnout, saying the turnout at the event is an indication of the interest they have on the topic.
Joseph Demba, the Regional Aids Coordinator in the Lower River Region, reminded youths that LRR is a region with the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country, hence the need for them to be aware and take necessary safety precautions so as to avoid being infected with the virus.
Demba also encouraged the youths to go in for Voluntary Testing and Counseling available at Major Health Centres like in Soma, noting that it is only then that one can know and ascertain his/her status.
He spoke at length on achievement registered by The Gambia Government and partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Other speakers at the ceremony included Musa Jarra, the Regional Youth and Sport Coordinator for LRR.