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YEDI, NEPWHAN Seek More Collaboration to Reduce Plights of PLWHA

YEDI, NEPWHAN Seek More Collaboration to Reduce Plights of PLWHA

Oluchi Chibuzor

Youth Development and Empowerment Initiative (YEDI) and Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) has stressed the need for more public and private collaboration that will help reduce the plight of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country.

This, according to them, would continue to support programmes that facilitate access to health services and promote healthy behaviours that allow adolescents to reach their full potential in adulthood.

To this end, YEDI, an adolescent health organisation and implementing partner for Grassroot Soccer, held an outreach programme recently in Lagos to further raise the awareness on HIV/AIDS in the state.

Speaking at the event, which is to commemorate 2022 World AIDS Day, the Executive Director, YEDI, Adeoye Oluwatomisin underscored their effort on community development in Nigeria using proven, effective and innovative development approaches.

“We leverage on the health educators to mobilise the public and also use our volunteers to go out to those disadvantaged communities to create awareness about the programme.

“Government should not relent their effort beyond knowing your status, but ensuring drugs are available for people who react positively to HIV.The problem is that HIV/AIDS is still there and we cannot shy away from it. People must know their status. We have young people that are still involved in risky behaviour, so we must still continue to create awareness about HIV and most importantly prevention. People do not know which mode HIV can be transmitted, so there is continuous effort about awareness.”

However, for NEPHWAN members present at the event, the plight of living with HIV is affecting their chances of retaining their job especially when going for drug pick up.

“So some of them coming to the clinic have lost their job because they are not granted permission to go and collect their drugs. Most people that come for their drug pickup at times for them to give an excuse in their working place is a big challenge for them.”

“More worrisome for us is that in some facilities we pay to pick up our drugs which is not good, I do not want to mention their names. This has been our struggle for years.  Let the government help us to solve this challenge which has made some patients not to come and pick up their drug.

Commenting on the programme, the partnership Programme Manager, Grassroot Soccer, Dr. Babatunde Odusolu, said out-of-school youth must be empowered with life skills urgently.

“Now, this life skills allows us to communicate healthy behaviours to adolescents, it allows us to empower them with information about their health, sex reproductive health, rights, financial component. That life skills leads to leadership and livelihoods; so is a stream of activities in Lagos and Kano. The project takes them out of the streets and empowers them with information.”

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