Provide condoms or face closure, commissioner tells hoteliers

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Makurdi – Mrs Comfort Ajene, the Benue Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, has warned hoteliers in the state to provide condoms for guests or risk closure.

Ajene gave the directive on Thursday in Makurdi at an AIDS sensitisation programme organised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, in collaboration with the Benue State Aids Control Agency (BENSACA).

The commissioner said that the ministry, together with BENSACA, would go on supervision of hotels in the state periodically to enforce compliance.

She said that if the order was properly obeyed, it would go a long way in reducing the HIV prevalence rate in  the state.

She added that the society would cease to exist if the people were not healthy, stressing that the health of the people was the primary target of the ministry.

Also speaking, Dr Olawale Salami, the Country Programme Manager for AIDS and Healthcare Foundation, encouraged people to frequently use condom, adding that condom had been tested and proven to be reliable in HIV control.

He said condom had also been proven to be reliable in the prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Mrs Ashi Wende, the Executive Secretary of BENSACA, said many people were reluctant to purchase condoms in spite  of the health hazards in unsafe sex.

Wende said that 85 per cent of HIV transmissions in Africa were through sexual intercourse.

In their separate remarks, Dr Dooter Ajoko, the state’s Director of Tourism and Mrs Elizabeth Tyonongo, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry appreciated BENSACA for partnering with the ministry to reduce the HIV prevalence in the state.

Tyonongo reiterated the ministry’s committment toward executing its condom policy for hotels, stressing that licence renewal would be based on their condom compliance level. (NAN)

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