Efio-Ita Nyok|8 November 2016
In line with the developmental strides towards eliminating HIV in Cross River State and creating a HIV free generation, wife of Governor Ayade's pet project, Mediatrix Development Foundation (MDF), Excellence Community Education Welfare Scheme (ECEWS) with support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency and other relevant MDAs is launching a Wise Up Cross River Campaign in response to the reproductive health gaps observed in young people especially the marginalised sub set of the population especially out-of-school youth, street children, and other most-at-risk population. This was contained in a message communicated to ladies and gentlemen of the press drawn from relevant media houses across the state.
Briefing the media, Adebola Adejo, Communication Advisor UNFPA, said the campaign is part of the activities of the delivering-as-one UN signed by the Executive Governor of the state, His Excellency, Senator (Prof) Ben Ayade and coordinated by UNFPA on behalf of the other 4 UN agencies (WHO, UNICEF, UNOWA, UNAIDS). According to him, the campaign is to aimed at increasing access to reproductive health information, commodities and services by using the creativity of music, drama, dances, ICT through social media that is young people driven to engage with their peers.
Giving a break down of the activities, Mr Araoyinbo Idowu, Youth Program Officer, UNFPA said a Condom Zone will be erected at the Cultural Centre for proper enlightening of young people about Safe Sex, testing and counseling of people on HIV.
'We are engaging over 200 Volunteers from all nooks and crannies in the state for this project. The campaign will involve condom demonstration, access to condoms, referrals, interpersonal communications, music, dancing, games, graphics design, tattoo parlor and HCT.', he informed.
Continuing he said they will be training in the coming days for healthcare providers, M & E officers, volunteers and media cell. He further stated that the project is targeted to reach out to vulnerable youth during the festive activities like Carnival dry run, main carnival, bikers display, commercial sex workers and same sex practitioners on the importance to check their status for HIV, Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
Also speaking, ECEWS Programme Officer, Mr Asukwo Etuk, said the Wise Up Cross River State Campaign will help close the reproductive health gaps observed in young people especially the marginalised sub set of the population especially out-of-school youth, street children, and other most at risk population.
His Excellency, Prof Ben Ayade, Executive Governor of Cross River State and His Wife, Dr Linda Ayade is expected to flag off the Wise Up Cross River State Campaign on the 1st of December 2016.
Present at the meeting which took place at the Conference Room of UNFPA were representatives of Negroid Haven, NUJ, HIT FM, CRBC, News Agency of Nigeria, Ministry of Information, AIT, online news medium Cross River Watch, and Calabar Reporters.
Is a Blogger, the Editor & Publisher of NegroidHaven.org