BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna
As the world all over celebrate the World Aids day which is an annual event celebrated every 1st December, Kaduna State Aids Control Agency (KADSACA) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is not leaving any stone unturned towards embarking on activities that will help to achieve the 2030 target of ending HIV/AIDS globally.
Towards this end, KADSACA/UNICEF in an activity to commemorate the world’s AIDS day packaged an empowerment program for the Adolescent and Young People (AYP) which targets the girl child in Jaba local government area of Kaduna State.
The program basically is to enrich the girls with skills that will help them generate income that will make them productive targeting no fewer than 1200 girls with HIV/AIFS information.
Speaking on the program, the UNICEF AYP consultant, Hajiya Hadiza Mohammed said the skills acquisition program is targeting 80 girls between the ages of 10-24 are in beat making, make up, head gear making and hena making.
The program also will provide an opportunity for HIV/AIDS counselling for the participants targeting 90:90:90 results she said.
“The ultimate target is to ensure that at least 90 percent of people are aware of their status, 90 percent who test positive are placed on treatment while 90 percent who are on treatment achieve virus Suppression”.
Also speaking, the AYP coordinator in Kaduna State, Aaron Sunday who was also on ground in Jaba local government for the commemoration disclosed that HIV/AIDS testing will be provided for at least 700 AYP with the targets of hundred persons each across seven local government areas of Jaba, Jema’a, Let, Igabi, Kagarko, Chikun and Birnin Gwari all in Kaduna State.
He further disclosed that the outreach is being carried out alongside 24 demand creators who are trained to create demand for uptake of HIV services among adolescents within their communities, and about 12 counselling testers who will provide testing and counseling within their communities.
He said, the activity in Jaba which will include musical concert among other activities is organized by Kaduna Association of Positive Youth Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (KAD-APYIN) with funding support from UNICEF, UNFPA, KADSACA, ANAYD to ensure that the goal of eradicating the scourge is achieved.
On his part, KADSACA supervisor in Jaba local government area Mr Barnabas Anthony commended UNICEF for its giant strides with its pilot programme which recorded significant success and embraced by all stakeholders.
“An average of 700-800 people are tested monthly here in Jaba local government and awareness created for no fewer than 1500 peer education on HIV prevention, treatment among others during interpersonal conversation.
The Local Action Committee on Aids (LACA) Comrade Simon Chang also commended UNICEF and other development partners for their unrelented support towards activities of HIV/AIDS in the local government.
He said their activities among others have greatly helped to reduce the scourge while the constant awareness has equally helped people to know their status and stigmatization among carriers has also reduced.
A beneficiaries Zainab Musa and Vincent Petery who participated in the skill acquisition in the areas of Head gear making and Hena making respectively commended the organisers, stressing that with what they have learnt, it will help them now and in the future.