ODSACA, NGO extend HIV counseling to physical challenged students
Ondo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (ODSACA), in partnership with a non-governmental organization, Good Samaritan International Corporation, has extended HIV counseling and family education to students of the Ondo State School for the Hearing Impaired in Akure.
Addressing the students, the Secretary to the State Government and Chairman of ODSACA, Dr. Aderotimi Adelola, represented by Mrs. Funmilade Akinrelere, the Community Mobilisation Officer of ODSACA, urged the students to adhere strictly to the HIV prevention techniques.
He enjoined them to abstain from casual sex, stressing that the present administration in the state has invested a lot in reducing the prevalence of HIV in the state.
He added that the NGO has been mandated by ODSACA through the support of the state government and World Bank to carry out HIV sensitization programme on 3000 people living with disability and related issues in Akure South, Owo and Akoko North East.
The Secretary to the State Government said extending HIV counseling to schools is a motive to catch them young and impact the knowledge of family life to change the students’ behaviour, reduce HIV prevalence and increase access to information about HIV.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of the NGO, Mr. Oniye Abel Akinwande, said the organization intends to reach special people with disabilities (both in school and out of school) in the state with HIV awareness campaign.
He emphasized the need to reduce AIDS related death and avoid stigmatization and discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS, noting that the increased HIV awareness will also be extended to their family members so as to secure the life of the people with disability.
The NGO Director, said the special people are targets of bad people like rapists, ritualists in the society and as such that there is need to reach out to them on life saving information that will help to protect them against sexual and other assaults.
Also, the Principal of the Ondo State School for the Hearing Impaired, Mrs. Victoria Olaniyi, appreciated the government for ensuring that the programme cut across to every sector.
She stressed that the programme would have enormous impact on the pupils, enrich their knowledge on HIV prevention and the need to abstain from casual sex. She urge them to embrace the preventive measures they have been taught.
Corroborating their views, a Staff of Good Samaritan International Corporation, Mrs. Victoria Orire, maintained that the programme would educate the people with disability about HIV and make them well informed on preventing HIV that will in turn promote their social well being.
In response, a Primary 6 students of the school, Miss. Mariam Salau, thanked the government for extending the HIV counseling and family education programme to the school, saying it would go a long way to increase their knowledge on HIV awareness.
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