NAS/ENCISS hold chiefdom-peer education training
The National HIV/AIDS Secretariat (NAS)-East in collaboration with ENCISS has ended a week long Chiefdom HIV/AIDS Peer Educators training in Kailahun and Kenema District. Participants were drawn from all the thirty chiefdoms both Kailahun and Kenema District. Both training sessions were held at the Kailahun District Council Hall and Kenema District Council Hall respectively. (Participants in the training secession)
In his opening statement the Regional Coordinator of the National HIV/AIDS Secretariat–Eastern Region – Mohammed M.B.Sisay welcomed participants and admonished them that HIV/AIDS issues should be taken as a very social developmental issue and as leading institution in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Sierra Leone, which assist the Government of Sierra Leone (GOSL) to implement the National Response through a multi-sectoral approach i.e. public and private sectors and covers many programmatic components as to Strategic Orientations as agreed by donors and technical partners. He said that their vision is towards zero New HIV infections by 2015. The Regional Coordinator highlighted some of the key issues in the 8 Strategic documents developed that will guide the road map to 2015 and that documents describe the unique challenges that HIV/AIDS pose to Sierra Leone’s economic and social development and how it will be addressed of which their priorities areas are Prevention of new infections, Treatment of HIV and other health-related conditions, Care and support for the infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, Policy, Advocacy, Human Rights and Legal Environment, Coordination, Decentralized Response, Resource Mobilization and Management and Research, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Given the update national response the Regional Monitoring and evaluation officer-NAS east Augustine Kemoh Lusine, went on to state that the current situation of Hiv in Sierra Leone Prevalence still stands and stabilized at 1.5%, Female 1,7%, male 1.2%, Adolescent girls 1.4%, boys 0.5%, Urban 2.5%, Rural 1%, Prevalence among pregnant women attending ANC is 3.2%, 48,000 people infected, 4,000 are children and Epidemic is mixed, generalized and heterogeneous affecting different population subgroups. He said that the project title is Promoting GOSL National Policy on zero New HIV/AIDS infections among Youths and Women. And the project’s objective is to combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases (MDG6) in Kailahun and Kenema district. And their major activity is the Popularization of HIV/AIDS Strategic Documents amongst youths, women and CACs, DACs members. Training of women, youths, CAC & DAC members LCs on the mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS/STI/SRH issues into Chiefdom Councils Development Plans General sensitisation of youths, women and CACs members on issues of HIV/AIDS/STI/SRH in all the Chiefdoms in Kenema and Kailahun Districts and Training of youths and women peer educators on HIV/AIDS/STI/SRH in all the Chiefdoms in Kenema and Kailahun Districts.
Augustine Lusanie concluded that they working together in Social partnership are the Key that can unlock the Potentials to achieve Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Stigma and Zero AIDS-Related Deaths by 2015 with funding from ENCISS.
In his presentations the led facilitator of the training Musa S. Dukulay of Panguma hospital said peer education is effective because it’s culturally appropriate from “within”, community based, accepted by the target audience/community, economically effective and enabling for the marginalized community.
He said that the role and responsibilities of peer educators is educating peers on STIs and HIV in one-on-one and small group session, assisting peers on STIs access condom, STIs and voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services, distributing condoms/lubricants and demonstrate correct condom use, participating in HIV outreach awareness and other public event, distributing educational materials, training other, holding regular meeting and teaching peers to negotiate safer sex. A vote thanks delivered by Madam Gladys Foday from the Norgowa Chiefdom she thanked the organizers for such training and extend thanks to ENCISS for such a support for building the capacity of CACs youths in the region.
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