By Prince Okafor
Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment (LIFE) has raised alarm over the high rates of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and other sexually Transmitted Infections, STI, among youth in Lagos state even as it called on youths to access primary healthcare centres rather than resorting to traditional methods of treatment.
The organisation made the calls during a sensitization programme in Lagos.
Speaking, the Group Programme Manager, James Unegbu,said: “Mostly affected by this scourge within the community are vulnerable persons within the community, as their styles contribute about 10 percent of all cases of infection in country.
“A recent survey show that within Itire-Ikate and Isolo Local Community Development Area, most of the vulnerable persons do not feel inclined to access STI treatment at the primary healthcare centres rather, they resort to the traditional methods of treatment. This accounts for the rising increase of cases of HIV and other STI among Nigerians.”
He maintained that, “As medical professionals and staff, we want to see an end to sexually transmitted infection particularly HIV/AIDS infection through improved access to transmitted infection treatment for community members as a whole.
“Many vulnerable persons do not access health services at the primary healthcare centers. Why because of the stigma and discrimination of communities and sadly even health workers towards vulnerable populations, most of them are not inclined to access treatment for sexually transmitted infections/diseases from the primary health care centres.”
The sensitisation session is part of its activities being implemented in a 10-month intervention with the support of Amplify change organisation United Kingdom which aims at promoting community support health services for the treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), especially among vulnerable persons (injecting drug users, sex workers, out-of-school youths etc,) in Isolo and Itire-Ikate LCDAs.