The Alimosho chapter of the National Association of Seadogs (NAS) in Lagos State in collaboration with its New York branch in the United States has sensitised members of the public on the prevalence of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the South-West region.
The sensitisation exercise, which was carried out in commemoration of World Aids Day on December 1 in partnership with the Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board and Ayobo-Ipaja Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, witnessed a robust awareness on HIV/AIDS, counselling, and free HIV screening.
Speaking during the one-day sensitisation campaign, the Chairman of Ayobo-Ipaja Local Council Development Area, Mrs. Bola Shobowale, who hosted members of NAS, noted that the awareness programme became imperative to mitigate at-risk behaviours due to the dwindling public enlightenment.
She regretted that the focus has shifted towards the global pandemic of Coronavirus popularly referred to as COVID-19, adding that HIV was still an issue.
Shobowale said, “I want to applaud NAS for the humanitarian initiative. They are always welcome and we support such programmes and partnerships aimed at strengthening healthcare awareness and solutions.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Healthcare Board has always shown support in the medical missions organised by NAS.
During the enlightenment programme with beneficiaries, a medical practitioner, Dr. Oyienami Eyimina-Otomi, harped on the various modes of transmission and the stages of the virus.
She educated the participants on prevention, staying safe, as well as distribution of condoms to participants to encourage safe sex.
Recall that the 2020 Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS), which is a household-based survey, showed that Lagos still had a prevalent rate of 1.4 percent.
This revealed that Lagos has the second-highest no of people leaving with HIV (PLHIV) in South-West Nigeria.
Beneficiaries of the free HIV screening and counselling were staff members of the LCDA, pregnant and nursing mothers who were around the hospital for immunisation, visitors who came in for business at the secretariat, and members of the organisation who were on the ground for the event.
In his remarks President of the Agege/Alimosho branch of NAS, also known as Hawkins Deck, Mr. Hassan Aidorolo, commended the management of Ayobo-Ipaja Primary Health Centre for the warm reception and for providing an enabling environment for the seamless hosting of the event.
He noted that the venue was very strategic in capturing the attention of the target audience as it is a hub for daily activities and human traffic.
The Medical Officer of Health of Ayobo-Ipaja Primary Healthcare Centre, Dr. Agboola, was among those who carried out medical examinations on beneficiaries.