By David Nsa
Principals and Head Teachers of schools in Cross River State have been urged not to stop Health Workers from carrying out HIV/AIDS counseling and testing in their school.
The call was made by the President Association of Resident Doctors, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (ARD-UCTH) chapter Dr. Antigha Cobham on air recently in Calabar.
According to him, “Restricting testing among teenage individuals in schools I don’t think it is right. Giving out information, and ensuring that these persons have first-hand information, preach abstinence and barrier methods to them is important. The truth is that many of these young lads are already participating in very high sexual activities, so if you are still saying no to educating them, then we count them as waste.
“For any Principal to refuse HIV/AID counseling and testing in his or her school is not right, these teenagers are in school to learn, so I think it’s not a good idea to prohibit testing of the teens in schools”. He said.
Relatively, the Co-guest on air with the ARD-UCTH President was Dr. Okoi Obule, Chairman Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Cross River State chapter called on the State Government to intensify it’s effort in driving the HIV/AIDS message to every home.
According to her, “We need more political will to combat HIV and Aids. This days only a few people pay attention to matters concerning health, while some people believe that it is not their portion to have HIV, irrespective of your believe you still need to do your test.
“We are losing donors, many don’t give support again, the issue of accountability is there, and they want the Government to show commitment. The issue of accountability and corruption comes in because I know the Government of Nigeria in one way or the other, had some form of support and budget allocation for this campings but I don’t know how much really got to the stakeholders that are involved in this work.
“Secondly I know Nigeria is capable if we cannot get the drugs, the Government can make a way to bring in those companies here to produce HIV drugs, or set up a partnership scheme with maybe South Korea, China or India where we can get good drugs but the problem is even when you make such a conviction that drugs will come in at an affordable rate, you will have to start worrying about fake drugs. If there is political will this problem can be overcome.” She advised.
The President Association of Resident Doctors, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital and Chairman Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Cross River State chapter were episode124 guests of “The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo” a topical radio program on Hit 95.9fm Calabar which is aired Sundays 6-7pm.
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