HIV/AIDS: UNICEF, KADSACA, others hold interventional meeting in Kaduna
//Shola Ojo/Akon Eddy, Kaduna//
Worried by rapid increment in the spread of HIV/AIDS among youths and adolescents in Kaduna State, United Nations Children Fund, (UNICEF), in collaboration with Kaduna State Agency for AIDS Control (KADSACA) and other development partners yesterday completed a 2-day interventional meeting in K
HIV Specialist with UNICEF in Kaduna, Dr. Idris Baba, said the meeting is aimed at brainstorming with all key stakeholders including people living with the virus.
Dr. Idris added that the meeting is to bring together people who have and shared common understanding, and passion for making any other groups to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and ensuring right environment they require to work among themselves and for themselves.
According to him, “this is like a stakeholders engagement where we are going to introduce a new global concept that is call All-In concept.
“The All-In concept is a global product where adolescents and young persons are being put at the centre stage to ensure that HIV/AIDS are curbed amongst them.
“This is coming from the fact that globally there has been a decline in HIV/SIDS both prevalent and new infections among all age groups except among adolescents.This rather surprisingly is showing an increase in both new infections and death among them.
“So, the All-In concept is a deliberate attempt to understand why is it happening like this among this age group and strategically put a measures in place to ensure we control it,” he stated.
Dr. Idris further added that this age group matters because it is a complex age group where development take place in the cause of human life, “this is an age range which people hardly see and take to them in the way they will understand.
“Understand their age dynamics, how do they perceive things, what do they really wants done with their lives; then we can come in and support them. That’s why we feel we should focus on adolescents.
“We won’t say there is a specific data of such because as you can see thus stakeholders meeting is trying to see how to bring all the data together.
“We did similar programme in Jaba and Jema’a Local Government Areas where we try to understand and unravel the situation and reasons behind adolescents behaviour, specifically providing and encouraging HIV/AIDS testing and other health related issues.
“We recorded huge success and that opened our eyes the more in the sense that adolescents and young persons have their own minds, can usually understand things better if given the correct information and equally help in telling us what we know and don’t know; and how to prepare for themselves.”
In an interview, Director, Prevention, KADSACA, Dr. Julianah Bungwon, said the three local government selected for the research; Lere, Chikun and Sabon Gari, were carefully selected based on senatorial district among other measures.
She stressed that adolescents learnt what every parents would not want them to learn from where people would not want them, noting that the idea of parent-child communication is an area find difficult to talk about in Nigeria, “hardly do parents sit and talk to their children on matters bordering their sex life and other reproductive health issues.
” This gap in communication is now telling on the rate infection spread among adolescents group.
“Where do they get information? How correct are these information they get? How they internalize and use these information matters to us a lot because once impression is wrong to adolescent, once they get it wrong even if the information is correct; but they internalize it wrongly. Its likely they’re going to act wrongly and in situation they’re also going to put themselves in a vulnerable situation.
” So, we believe that its important for all stakeholders to put their heads together and come to a roundtable to see how we can improve communication with this particular age group,” she added.
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