The Society for Family Health (SFH) says it has begun a two-day training exercise for 60 community mobilisers and testers to stem transmission of HIV/AIDS among pregnant women and children in Taraba.
Aisha Dadi, Programme Manager, Lafiyan Yara Project of the Society, stated this at the inauguration of the exercise on Wednesday in Jalingo.
Dadi said the exercise was aimed at impacting the trainees with the needed knowledge to build on their skills to enable them perform optimally.
“We are the first partners for focused intervention on children in HIV/AIDS. It is therefore, important that everything goes accordingly because we will be setting the pace.
“I urge you to pay attention to your training and ensure that those children in need of support get the needed assistance,” she said.
The participants, she said, were drawn Jalingo, Zing, Karim-Lamido, Bali, Gashaka, Sardauna, Gassol and Wukari Local Government Areas of the state.
According to her, the training is to build the capacity of community mobilisers to improve HIV case identification, referral, retention in care of children, adolescents and pregnant women.
She said that the community mobilisers included traditional birth attendants, village health workers, proprietary and patent medicine vendors as well as mentor mothers.
“You are the ones with the people at the grassroots, you are the ones who interact with them the more and who they can confide in.
“It is therefore, imperative that you take your work very seriously, starting with this training by paying attention and asking all the necessary questions where you need clarifications” she said.
In his remarks, Dr Daudu Nyubanga of the State AIDS and STI Control Programme, stressed the readiness of the agency to collaborate with partners to combat the scourge in the state.
“We want to expand case identification to ensure quick assistance as this is a collective fight that must be fought from all fronts,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Ronald Cletus, Director, Treatment Care and Support in the Taraba Action Committee on AIDS (TACA), said that the training was a pool of various sensitive groups in the effort as the rate of testing for children was low.
“Last week, 85 children tested positive for HIV/AIDS in the state and this is worrisome.
“The essence is to get more pregnant woman and children to be tested and that is why we are having this refresher training,” he said.
He expressed optimism that the gesture would impact on the trainees to scale up testing and counselling services.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the exercise is being anchored by scores of trainers drawn from within and outside the state. (NAN)