TotalEnergies, partners take HIV/AIDS awareness campaign to Lagos schools
Immaculate Heart Comprehensive Senior Secondary School, Immaculate Heart Comprehensive Junior Secondary School, Mende High Senior Secondary School, and Mende High Junior Secondary School were the schools that benefited from this year's HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, which took place at the Mende Senior High School, Sunmola Street, Mende 105102, Maryland, Lagos.
In his remarks, the Managing Director, TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria Limited, Mike Sangster noted that HIV/AIDS remains a major global health crisis and encouraged the students to be informed, protect themselves and their loved ones, stressing that it was rather disturbing that, “up till now, prevalence rate is high due to the negligence and ignorance of the public.”
“We believe that students of your age need to be aware of the disease because we know that with knowledge comes the ability to take informed decisions to protect yourselves, your families and your communities against HIV/AIDS,” Mr Sangster, represented by the Manager CSR Business Development and Projects, Moyosore Areola, said.
Goodwill messages and pep talks were also delivered by NIBUCAA, officials of the Lagos state ministry of education and the Chairman Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Education, Honourable Ganiyu Sanni.
In his goodwill message, the Group General Manager, NAPIMS, Bala Wunti noted that the World AIDS Day was founded in 1988 as an annual observance of activities aimed at raising awareness of the global pandemic of AIDS and the spread of HIV.
“This year’s theme, ‘End inequalities. End AIDS. End Pandemics’, seeks to alert the public and the Government of the presence of AIDS and the drive to end stigmatization and improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. The HIV.Gov website global statistics stated that there were approximately 37.6 million people across the globe with HIV in 2020. Of these, 35.9 million were adults and 1.7 million were children younger than 15 years old,” Mr Wunti, represented by Mrs. Clementina Arubi.
He urged the students to take the messages seriously as leaders of tomorrow.
The presentation of disease-related information, education, and communication materials to the benefiting schools, as well as interactive sessions on mental health, COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, and reproductive health, were among the highlights. It also included drama performances to raise awareness about the consequences of dangerous behaviours such as drug misuse, illicit sexual acts, rape, cult activities, and blood rituals.
As of 2019, when the campaign was last held before a halt caused by the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, at least 19 schools in the country had benefited from the initiative by TotalEnergies and its partners which include the NNPC, Prime, Sapetro, and CNOOC.
The event was co-hosted by the Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NIBUCAA).