HIV/AIDS: Ogun Introduces Interpersonal Communication in School0
In its bid to ensure the enlightenment programme on HIV/AIDS pandemic reach the grassroots and youths, Ogun State has introduced Inter-Personal Communication (IPC) strategy in the curriculum of the state-owned School of Health Technology, Ilese.
A 25-man committee has been put in place to fine-tune the strategy, which would have positive impact on family planning and reproductive health.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ forum jointly organised by the state government in collaboration with the Enhancing Nigeria’s Response to HIV and Aids and the Society for Family Health (SFH) in Abeokuta on Thursday.
Soyinka assured that the inclusion of the strategy in the school’s curriculum would enable students to be trained adequately to reach out to members of the larger society on ways of preventing new infections while enhancing reproductive health.
He explained that the measure was adopted because experience had shown that interpersonal communication was a potent force in disseminating and transmitting new ideas, pointing out that the school system remains a veritable channel for getting this done, particularly among students.
The commissioner said: “If a person is well-informed, motivated to act and they have skills and confidence to take action, they are likely to initiate and maintain health promoting behaviours that produce positive outcome.”
He, however, assured the people of the state of the resolve of the Governor Ibikunle Amosun-led administration to provide affordable healthcare system as well as bring down the prevalence rate of HIV and enhance reproductive health.
In his speech, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Alhaji Ambali Ishola, represented by the ministry’s Desk Officer, Mrs. Sola Onayiga, said institutionalising the interpersonal communication strategy would prepare students for the diverse challenges in a competitive labour market.
Representative of Enhancing Nigeria’s Response to HIV/AIDS, Mr. Lanre Kayode, observed that the strategy helps in effective data collection and collation on health-related matters as well as influences behavioural change.
Nevertheless, the Director of the Agency for the Control of AIDS (OGUNSACA), Dr. Kehinde Fatungase, who presented the epidemiology report of HIV in the state, said the introduction of IPC would help increase the uptake of HIV counselling and testing which he observed is currently low in the state.
On her part, the Director of Primary Healthcare in the state, Dr. Kafayat Lawal, pointed out that the IPC would be a ready tool for implementing the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS), which she assured would strengthen the state health system.
Source: Daily Newswatch