Members of Rural Youth Peace & Care Foundation (RYPCAF), on sensitization rally to mark this year's World AIDS Day in Warri

Emeka Nwokocha

Rural Youth Peace and care Foundation (RYPCAF), a leading Non-governmental Organization promoting safe health in Nigeria, on Thursday 2 December, 2021, marked this year’s World AIDS Day in Warri, headquarters of Warri South local government area of Delta state.

A large crowd of members of RYPCAF, led by the Executive Director (ED), Mr. Peter Anighoro, marched through major streets in Warri with placards and banners to sensitize the public about the scourge of HIV/AIDS. The placards bore inscriptions such as “End Inequality, End AIDS Today,” “Get tested Today, Know Your Status,” “Do Your Free HIV Test Here,” and “Stop Stigmatization, Show Love.”

The procession which was spiced with drumming, dancing and distributing of flyers and condoms, took off at the head office of RYPCAF, 15 DDPA Estate, Igbudu, Warri, and rounded off at Okumagba Estate roundabout where free HIV test, and counseling services were provided to the public.

Executive Director of RYPCAF, Mr. Peter Anighoro, speaking at the events

Speaking to journalists, Mr. Anighoro spoke eloquently about the purpose of World AIDS Day, and other sundry issues that informed the origination of the global event. His words, “on 1 December every year the organizations and peoples around the world mark World AIDS Day, to give support to people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died of AIDS related illness. Today, we join the rest of the world to mark this global event in a special way with the theme, ‘End Inequalities, End AIDS through sustainable financing in Nigeria.’ It is imperative to note that our theme for today’s event is forms part of a growing list of challenges that the World AIDS Day is sensitizing people about globally.”

Continuing, Anighoro, said, “RYPCAF kicked off its activities to mark the global event yesterday (Wednesday 1 December), in partnership with CARITAS Nigeria and the Delta State Agency for the Control of AIDS. We visited communities in Warri South local government area to sensitize them about the world AIDS Day. Then, today’s sensitization rally will round off our activities to mark World AIDS Day, 2021.”

Members of RYPCAF at the sensitization rally in Warri

He continued, “in addition to the sensitization segment of this event, we are providing free HIV test services to the people and residents of Warri and environs, including counseling service.
Anighoro said, “the relevance of World AIDS Day cannot be overemphasized as it has been a veritable platform to making progress in disseminating credible information about the scourge of HIV/AIDS. These include, creating awareness that HIV is still living with us; there is a critical need for the federal government of Nigeria to increase and sustain funding for AIDS response in Nigeria; to end stigmatization and discrimination; and improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.”
Anighoro, stated that HIV remains a major public health issue that affects millions of people world-wide, adding that RYPCAF is using the event as a window to reach out to people who do not have access to HIV testing facilities. He added that CARITAS had set up five One Stop Shop (OSS) across Delta state that offer free access to essential and quality HIV services with five Community Based Officers (CBOs) managing the facilities.

MEMBERS of RYPCAF at the World AIDS Day sensitization rally

Also speaking, the Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at RYPCAF, Engr. Daniel Okerekutu, said commemorating of World AIDS Day avails the public to understanding that contracting HIV is not a sentence to death, stating that HIV could be managed when it is diagnosed early. He said, “it is important for everybody to do HIV test as early detection will give you an opportunity to live your life.”

Medical Team from RYPCAF conducting a test at the event

Asked if people were taking advantage of the free HIV test to know their status, the ED of RYPCAF said, “people are coming in their numbers to do the test, and we look forward to having more persons come do the test.”

Some of the persons who benefitted from the free HIV Test, but would not want their names mentioned in this report, commended RYPCAF for the enlightenment sessions and provision of free HIV test for the public. Continuing, they called on other non-governmental organisations, and the government of the day to replicate the humanitarian services RYPCAF Team is providing to the public, stating that continuous sensitization will go a long way to curbing the spread of HIV in the society.

Medical Officers from RYPCAF conducting a test at the event

Present at the event was the Local Action Committee on HIV/AIDS (LACA), Warri South local government area, Evelyn Egbejule, representatives of other NGOs, and CSOs across Delta State.


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