By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark World AIDS Day, stakeholders in the health sector have called for investment in youths and adolescents.
Speaking at the programme organized by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria in collaboration with Association of Positive Youths in Nigeria (APYIN) and Positive Access for Treatment Access (PATA), yesterday in Abuja, stakeholders harped on the need for dialogue with the youths and adolescents so as to address their peculiar challenges.
Specifically, Dr. Echey Ijezie, Country Program Director, AHF Nigeria said, this year’s World AIDS Day 2022 under the theme; “It’s Not Over”, was meant to intensify message to major stakeholders.
He said with this theme, it is time for stakeholders and advocates in all countries to intensify HIV prevention, testing, and treatment efforts worldwide to slow the rapidly rising new HIV infection rates and protect the precious gains made.
“We need to ensure equal access to treatment and eradicate inequalities so that everyone can access care.
“We also need to focus on
Adolescents and young people. We want the youths to champion and tell us what their challenges are so that we can find common grounds on how to achieve them.”
Also speaking, Dr. Victoria Isiramen, Health Manager, AYP National Team Lead, UNICEF, said it is very important to prioritize response so as to address key issues that affects young ones.
“There are also discoveries that young girls go in to sex because of poverty and other societal challenges. We need to discuss all these issues and understand what the young ones are passing through.
“We also need to ensure zero stigma and discrimination. E need to secure future of girls by investing in them”.
Speaking earlier, NACCA representative, Daniel Onkukwe, said the government has a strategy in place to address the challenges.
He said there is a plan to address challenges in the rural areas and other places that have high cases.
“We will not relent on our oars to address the challenges of HIV and AIDS in our country. We will also intensify campaigns to end stigma and wrong information”.