Fifty local leaders, including youth and women representatives drawn from the twelve districts of Bong County have been trained in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Mr. Julia M. Lysander, AIDS Commission Consultant told the participants that the decentralization of the national HIV/AIDS response through multi-sectoral approach remains a key focus here.
Lysander said the initiative would immensely contribute to the overall developmental agenda of the Liberian government, as well as ensure the realization of the UNAIDS goal.
He disclosed that the Commission was striving to ensure reduction in the prevalent rate of the disease which is not attainable in the absence of concerted efforts by all stakeholders in tackling the global pandemic that is washing away the lives of people on a daily basis.
She said the primary focus of the training for the local leaders was to enhance capacity development to coordinate HIV/AIDS response through the various sectors, established structures and employ mechanisms at the national, county and district levels in combating to contain the spread of the disease.
“Accentuating the broad objective of the county-level workshop is to increase the knowledge of 120 participants in Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties through a multi-sectoral approach on the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” Lysander said.
The NAC consultant then urged the locals, including youth and women representatives to serve as agents of change in their respective communities and build a united front in discouraging the spread of the disease.
Participants trained from the various sectors of the county assured their commitment to working with the National AIDS Commission to realize tangible result from the commission‘s decentralization strategy and programs.
They suggested to the Commission to always involve them (local leaders) in all aspects of its work to ensure broad-based participation in the global campaign to retain the spread of the pandemic in rural communities.
The Multi-sectoral Decentralization Seminar targetted 120 persons from Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties, and was held under the theme: “Building Ownership for a Multi-sectoral decentralized HIV/AIDS Response in Liberia.”
Both the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and UNAIDS provided funding for the implementation of NAC decentralization initiative.