As part of its Cooperate Social Responsibilities (CSR), and to mark the world Human Immune-deficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) day, Total Upstream Nigeria Limited has launched its awareness campaign across schools.
The Managing Director, Total Upstream Nigeria Limited, Mr Nicolas Terraz said that over the years, HIV/AIDS has become a major global health crisis.
He stressed that the disease has also become a real development challenge especially for developing nations where young people, who are the most productive segment of the population, remain at risk."
Terraz, who was represented by the GM, Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development, Total Upstream Nigeria Limited, Dr Charles Ngeribara said it was disturbing that the prevalent rates of HIV/AIDS infection remained high due to negligence and ignorance. He continued: "The youth exposed themselves to infection with the HIV/AIDS virus whenever they engaged in risky behaviours, such as drugs abuse and cult activities, among others."
In other to reduce the impact of this disease, Terraz said they join the United Nation and the World Health Organisation as part of a broad-based coalition that is leading the fight against HIV/AIDS because prevention is not only better than cure, but it is also cheaper and prevents complications.
Similarly, The Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Aids Control Agency, Dr Oluseyi Tenowo, said that more than 40million people are living with HIV worldwide and about 35million of them are adolescents. Tenowo, who was represented by a Senior Project Officer of the Agency, Dr Folasade Olaosebikan, said to have an HIV free generation, we need to attend to the young people from age 10 upward and teach them how to avoid the virus.
She disclosed that the Lagos State Government is planning to include HIV/AID sensitisation in the curricula for government-owned primary and secondary schools because if pupils were taught HIV/AIDS control at a young age, it would be difficult for them to engage actions that could expose them to the danger of contracting the disease.
Group General Manger, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) Roland Ewubare said the most effective form of prevention is awareness.
"In view of that, it has become imperative for us to focus on its education as a tool to spread the awareness. You will agree with me that the importance of such education to teenagers and other vulnerable groups cannot be overemphasized because is often said that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation," he said.
Ewubare continued: "Over time with our partners have implemented various projects in the areas of education, building schools and classrooms, laboratories, donation of books, scholarships, quiz competition, skill acquisitions and economic empowerment, healthcare, water and sanitation, solar power and other infrastructural intervention projects across the federation."