By D. Patrick Tokpah
The National AIDS Commission (NAC) of Liberia has concluded a nationwide training with at least three hundred (300) school going kids across Bong, Grand Bassa and Nimba Counties in the Country.
The training was conducted simultaneously in Bong, Grand Bassa and Nimba Counties with financial support from –UNICEF.
Addressing journalists at the closing of the seminar on August 10, 2019, in Gbarnga, the National AIDS Commission of Liberia Communications Officer, Necus Andrews stated that the training was conducted in three of Liberia’s fifteen Counties with three hundred (300) students in order to create massive awareness in their respective learning institutions against the spread of HIV/AIDS.
According to NAC Communications Officer, based on their statistics, there are over thirty nine thousand (39,000) persons infected with the transmitted disease across Liberia, adding that beneficiaries of the program will be trained how to encouraged their colleagues in term of eradicating HIV in their neighborhoods.
He recounted that the program is at the same time intended to establishing Health Clubs in the various schools as part of efforts to combating the disease among citizens in the economic nation –Liberia.
“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 (Liberia), Necus Andrews added.”
Mr. Necus Andrews also used the opportunity to call on health workers at various hospitals and Clinics in the Country to desist from the act of exposing people living with HIV while seeking 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, Andrews told newsmen”.
Necus Andrews said while it is true that there is no cure for HIV, but there drugs meant to minimize increase of the virus, maintaining that people who have the disease should make use of the medical centers for the betterment of their lives.
The ceremony of the nationwide HIV training was graced by the National AIDS Commission (NAC) Commissioner and other Executive members of the Commission.
Moreover, Andrews said National AIDS and Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STI) Control Programme 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 in other to help in buttressing the effort of the NAC in reducing the virus in the Country.
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 event prompted the Government of Liberia to establish the National AIDS and STI Control Programme 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 (2) years after its formation, the Liberian civil crisis unfolded, little was achieved up to 2004, because the database was destroyed during the civil hostilities.