By Hassan Zaggi
The Wife of the President, Dr. (Mrs) Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has advocated for the scale up of health information for the adolescents across the country.
This, according to her, is necessary for successful AIDS control and prevention.
She made the call at the China/Africa AIDS Prevention and Control conference, which was organized by the First Lady of the Peoples’ Republic of China, Professor Peng Liyuan, on the sidelines of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, China, recently.
Mrs. Buhari revealed that Nigeria has studied the adolescent and young people’s challenges and developed a national HIV strategy that targets the population with context specific interventions.
She, however, lamented the high number of HIV patients in Nigeria and other African countries.
“It is undisputable fact that HIV continues to be a major global public health issue. It is painful to note that adolescent and young people are among the high risk and vulnerable groups,” she said, describing them as representing the future productive group of any society. She, therefore, charged stakeholders to take urgent measures to mitigate the contextual drivers of the AIDS epidemic among the adolescents if the dream of ending AIDS by 2030 is to be achieved.
Mrs. Buhari commended the idea of a joint action plan between relevant stake holders in China and Africa in the process of combating the menace of HIV/AIDS.
Speaking, the First Lady of the People’s Republic of China, Professor Peng Liyuan, said the conference is another step forward in China – Africa relations, which creates historic opportunities for health cooperation, and called on African countries to work with China in the fight against AIDS, deepen cooperation and continue to contribute to the health and well-being of their peoples.
She promised that as from 2019, China will work with African countries and relevant international organizations on a 3 – year program for adolescent preventive and community health programs to raise awareness and help countries move towards the Sustainable Development Goal of ending HIV/AIDS by 2030.
The event was attended by First Ladies from 36 countries and the Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Michel Sidibe.