To mark the World AIDS Day 2017, Youth Empowerment Development Initiative (YEDI) and National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS Population and Development (NYNETHA), took campaign to four local governments areas in Lagos State- Lagos Mainland, Kosofe, Agege and Ajeromi, educating and informing the residents about HIV/Aids and prevention
The Head of programmes, YEDI, Mrs. OluwatomisinAdeoye said that the chosen theme for the World AIDS Day 2017 'My Health, My Right' is to empower people on their legal right to quality healthcare and the importance of being healthy, most importantly creating awareness on HIV/AIDS and preventive measures.
"The reason for the theme is to educate Nigerians that they have the right to quality and accessible healthcare. This year we planning to reach out to at least 5,000 people in four local governments in Lagos State; Lagos Mainland, Agege , Ajeromi and Kosofe Local Government Areas, where we will be enlightening people on HIV/AIDS through a football match and other activities. We have considered the four local governments out of the numerous local governments in Lagos State based on statistics, centre-hold communities and rural settings.
"We have been able to capture 127,000 adolescent in Nigeria as regard HIV/AIDS, When we visit the communities for training, we reach out to them through our various activities like; in-school trainings, to meet with children educating them about HIV/Aids and preventions. With that, we have been able to reach out to 50,000 adolescents in Lagos State," she said.
The State coordinator NYNETHA, Mr. BabamoleOlanrewaju, noted that the World AIDS Day is not a day for celebration but a day to preach the gospel of HIV/AIDS free to people who lives in the rural areas with no knowledge of HIV/AIDS and it preventions.
He said: "World AIDS Day is not just a day but it's an opportunity for us all to come together and talk about HIV/ADS. When the first case was reported, people thought it was false until it escalated and now over three million people living HIV/AIDS.
Olanrewaju lamented that most people fall victim of HIV/AIDS due to lack of responses in their communities, urged the government to implement a budget on HIV/AIDS response in the local government and state levels.
Speaking on stigmatisation of people living with HIV/AIDS, Lagos General Secretary of NYNETHA, Mr. Isaac Moses, said that most youths who were affected by the disease do not have access to treatment based on stigma another reason why the coalition is formed to spread the gospel of HIV/AIDS and ensure victims get access to quality healthcare.
Isaac also mentioned that HIV/AIDS have the tendency of reducing the labour force of a nation, thus, affecting the development of the country.
"The truth is that we have the potential in terms of labour force. If nothing is done about HIV/AIDS now and it keep affecting our youths, then there is no future. So our future is now. The access gap needs to be filled," he noted.