AIDS agency trains 85 orphans on skills

Some of the youths being trained in skill acquisition.

The Akwa Ibom Agency for the Control of AIDS (AK-SACA), is training 85 orphans and vulnerable children on the acquisition of skills for sustainable living.

The AK-SACA Programme Manager, Dr Nkereuwem Etuk, made this known in Uyo, the state capital, at a meeting of the state working technical group on Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV and AIDS.

Etuk said that the beneficiaries were trained on skills such as hairdressing, fashion design and catering.

According to him, the training is supported by the World Bank and the trainees will be equipped with starter packs at the end of the training in February.

Youth-friendly clubs
Etuk said that AK-SACA had formed eight youth-friendly clubs in collaboration with the State Ministry of Youth and Sport on how to stay safe from HIV and AIDS infection.

He explained that the collaboration with the ministry was targeted at the out of school youths.

The AK-SACA Programme Manager said that similar partnership with the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education was directed at youths and young people in schools.

He said that the agency was also working in collaboration with some civil society organisations on the uptake of ante natal services by pregnant women in some local government areas.

The training was in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare.

Prevention
The HIV and AIDS Programme Manager, state Ministry of Health, Dr Ibia Ibia called for effective engagement of the clergymen and opinion leaders in the prevention of HIV and AIDS infection in the State.

Ibia explained that the clergymen, especially in the rural areas have great influence on their members and collaboration with them could help in behaviour change.

He said that the 2014 National Survey on HIV and AIDS prevalence in Nigeria had placed the State at 10.8 percent.

Ibia said the State would conduct its own AIDS indicator survey soon, while pleading with all stakeholders to collaborate to scale down the prevalence rate of the scourge.

NAN/Sammie