The National AIDS Commission (NAC) of Liberia has concluded a nationwide training with at least 300 school – going kids across Bong, Grand Bassa and Nimba Counties.
The training was conducted simultaneously in the three Counties with financial support from UNICEF.
Addressing newsmen at the closing of the seminar on 10 August in Gbarnga, Bong County, National AIDS Commission Communications Officer Necus Andrews stated that the training targeted 300 students from the three Counties in order to create massive awareness in their respective learning institutions against the spread of HIV/AIDS.
According to Andrews, based on their statistics, there are over 39,000 persons infected with the transmitted disease across Liberia, adding that beneficiaries of the program will be trained how to encourage their colleagues in terms of eradicating HIV in their neighborhoods.
Andrews reveals that the program is at the same time intended to establish health clubs in the various schools as part of efforts to combat the disease among citizens in the Country.
“We are also calling on Liberians, most especially the youthful populace to use condom always during sexual intercourse because HIV/AIDS is now becoming alarming health issues in this Country,” Necus Andrews adds.
He also calls on health workers at various hospitals and clinics here to desist from the act of exposing people living with HIV who seek medical attention.
“I want to inform the people of Liberia that if any health practitioner involved in the act of showing citizens infected with the virus, drastic action will be taken against said individual ranging from jail sentence,” he warns.
Necus Andrews explains that while it is true that there is no cure for HIV, there are drugs meant to minimize the increase of the virus.
He maintains that people who have the disease should make use of the medical centers for the betterment of their lives.
Moreover, Andrews says the National AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STI) Control Program is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the provision of quality care and treatment and support services for people affected and infected with HIV and AIDS in Liberia.
Some of the participants lauded the NAC for conducting such training in the country. They assured the NAC that they are going to use the knowledge acquired from the training at the various schools and communities to buttress NAC’s efforts in reducing the spread of the virus.
The ceremony was graced by NAC commissioner and other executive members of the Commission.
The first case of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was diagnosed in a female trader in 1986, Zorzor, Lofa County, the north-west of Liberia.
This prompted the government of Liberia to establish the National AIDS and STI Control Program as an umbrella organization within the Ministry of Health with the mandate to prevent and control the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Country.
Barely two years after its formation, the Liberian civil crisis unfolded, and little was achieved up to 2004 because the database was destroyed during the civil hostilities.By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong–Edited by Winston W. Parley