TotalEnergies, others move to curb spread of HIV/AIDS in schools
TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria Limited has launched a school-based awareness campaign on Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) for secondary schools in Lagos State, as part of its yearly move to mitigate the spread of the disease.
TotalEnergies, in collaboration with National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), partners – Prime, Sapetro and other partners, also distributed HIV Tool Kits to schools to use as reference materials to educate students and others.
The schools include: Mende Senior High School, Mende Junior Secondary School, Immaculate Heart Senior High School and Immaculate Heart Comprehensive Junior School.
Speaking at the launch to mark the World AIDS Day, the Managing Director, TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria Limited, Mike Sangster, said students need to be aware of the disease, because knowledge brings the ability to take informed decisions to protect themselves, their families, and communities against HIV/AIDS.
He said over the years, HIV/AIDS has become a major global health crisis, adding that the disease has also become a real development challenge, especially for developing nations, where young people, who are the most productive segment of the population, remain at risk.
He noted that the youth are mainly vulnerable to HIV infection, especially where they are ignorant and engage in risky behaviours, such as drug abuse and illicit sexual exposures, either by informed choices or rape, cult activities and blood rituals, among others.
Sangster said the company agreed with WHO on prevention not being only better than cure, but also cheaper and prevents complications.
“It ls quite disturbing that up till now, prevalence rate is high, due to the negligence and ignorance of the public. To reduce the impact of this disease, we join the United Nations and the World Health Organisation as part of a broad-based coalition that is leading the fight against HIV/AIDS. It is for this reason that TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria Limited extends its annual HIV/AIDS awareness campaign to secondary schools,” he said.
The Group General Manager, NAPIMS, Bala Wunti, represented by the Deputy Manager, Community Development, Mrs. Clementina Arubi, emphasised the existence of HIV/AIDS and its devastating impacts.
The Principal, Mende Senior High School, Mr. Joseph Fatokun, thanked the organisations for putting together the sensitisation awareness programme, as it would assist in curbing the spread of the disease at school level.