Following the HIV/AIDS intervention by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Kaduna State Government under the Adolescent and Young Persons (AYPs) project, 248,884 male condoms and 11,600 female condoms totaling 260,484 have so far distributed in Jaba local government area of Kaduna State between 2016 to date.
The intervention is spread across the ten political wards in Jaba which are Fada, Sab-Zuro, Fai, Dura-Bitaro, Nok, Anku, Sachem, Chori, Daddu and Samban.
The Sun recalled that, after discovery of decrease in prevalent HIV cases among adults and increase among adolescent and young persons, UNICEF in collaboration with the State Government, launched the intervention in 2016 targeting young persons between age 10-24 for the intervention designed to scale-up the combination of HIV prevention, treatment and care services for them in selected local government areas of the State.
Already, there seems to be stock out of the commodity in the State as this group of people keep yearning for more before they can make themselves available for counseling, screening and treatment.
Speaking with Daily Sun in Kwoi, the headquarters of Jaba local government, Monitoring and Evaluation, Local government Action Committee on AIDS (LACA), Ayuba Yero revealed that, a total of 41,253 adolescent and young persons were counselled, 39,572 tested and 109 tested positive by 20 testers and 40 demand creators.
He said, 105 out of the 109, who tested positive have been placed on drug at the General Hospital, Kwoi while efforts are ongoing to get the remaining four to the facility.
According to him, we have distributed 248,884 male condoms and 11,600 female condoms since we started the programme with 20 testers and 40 demand creators.
“The local government has been providing us with test kits since July. I’m aware there is stock out in the State.
“The outreach is one key strategy that is working for us. I want to believe that is the number one strategy in this kind of intervention. It is very active and result oriented because people accept us anywhere we go.
“In addition to the outreach strategy, we also encourage the timid ones who don’t come out to visit the clinic for counseling and testing to know their status and what they need to do to maintain healthy living,” Yero added.
19-years-old Jacob Jeb is a popular demand creator in Fada ward. He said, “when we started the campaign, some parents misunderstood us. They don’t want us to talk to their children. But today, they are not only supporting us, they are giving us table and chairs to counsel our age group.
“We are in dare need of commodities especially condoms. There are places we can’t go again because condom is what we used to justify our appeal not to have unprotected sex if they cannot abstain from sexual activities.
“During one of the trainings we had in the course of this intervention, we were told to give out as many condoms as demanded. But as you can see, we don’t have enough condoms to go round,” he said.
To Comfort Matthew, 20, a demand creators, Sachem ward, “boys are making themselves available for the counseling and testing than girls.
“Girls are not forthcoming like boys because they are timid. They usually give excuses like going to shop, helping in the home chores and all that.
“To get them, we target where we have a good number of young person to talk with them after introducing ourselves. This where the crested vest is helping because they can read what is written in it.”