The coordinator of decentralization at the National Aids Commission (NAC) in Monrovia, says HIV- AIDS remains a very critical health problem in the country.
Although the virus may no longer pose a very serious death threat to people, Madam Jenebah Grigsby said there is a dire need to continue promoting public education among the country’s adolescent population.
She made the statement over the weekend in Kakata at the start of a week-long life skills training seminar for adolescents. The initiative is being held for 250 Peer Educators in Montserrado, Grand Bassa and Margibi counties.
Those counties, according to Madam Grigsby, are the most hardest hit among the 15 counties, with the HIV/AIDS virus of which 476 new cases were discovered, something she said was appalling and needed to have a serious public awareness, especially among the young ones.
“If we don’t muster the courage now to provide the needed training and public awareness, especially among our youthful population, I am afraid that within ten years, a substantial damage could have been done to them,” Madam Grigsby said.
She said studies conducted back in 2014, shows that HIV/AIDS remains prevalent in the three counties, “this is why we are targeting the young people to train peer educators that will in return train their peers on the danger of the virus.
Grigsby then urged the youths to at all times check their HIV/AIDS status as having new cases of the virus could be a serious threat to their survival.
NAC Margibi Coordinator Eric Bombo, said the 250 Peer Educators that will train their colleagues in the three counties are expected to also train about 6,250 other Peer Educators with each of them training at least 25 persons, who may be able to convince at least 10 persons out of the 25.
Bombo said at the end of the training circle, they would have reached a total target of 12, 500 peer educators in the three counties, which they are expected to achieve.
He said those trained Peer Educators will liaise with Bombo’s office, and the County Health Teams of the three counties to organize their own forums in their respective communities, while members of the County Health Teams will be providing free testing and counseling for HIV/Aids patients.