Friday, October 30, 2020
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By Audrey Chomgui & Syntia Fotabong*

Government has created 434 youth centres to accelerate the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, foster better sensitisation on the prevention and eventually eradicate the pandemic in Cameroon.

The Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, Bidoung Mpkatt, disclosed this information during the launching ceremony for the 12th edition of the AIDS free holidays, under the theme “Youth the fight against AIDS continues”.

He called on youth to develop a positive attitude towards AIDS screening tests as a means of remaining healthier and urged them to be more serious. He pointed out that the rate of prevalence for children ranging from 0 to 15 years is 1.2 percent and 2.2 percent represent infected youth of 15 to 25years.

For his part, the Minister of Public Health, André Mama Fouda, prescribed the use of condoms for sexually active youth and abstinence for the sexually inactive. To facilitate the task of stepping up the fight against scourge, he noted that 30.000 screening kits have been made available.

‘’it is not a bad thing to enjoy life, but that should be done with a lot of care and precautions because the life of a youth is so precious to his or her family in particular and the nation in general”, he added. Mama Fouda equally called on all peer educators to lay more emphasis on the young girl, because they are the most vulnerable.

Making an assessment of the strides so far, the head of the Centre Region Technical Group for the fight against HIV/AIDS of the African synergies, Alain Ngie, noted that the turnout for screening of HIV/AIDS has experienced an increase. To him, they had predicted that 200 people would be screened on the first day at the ceremonial ground, but more than 300 people turned up. He pointed out that the screening campaign would last 14 days all over the country.

Speaking to The Post from one of the queues, a Yaounde University I student, Madeleine Ngono, held that knowing one’s HIV status is very important because it enables the person to know which precautions to take to treat or avoid the virus. She lauded the effort that the Government was making.

“Every time I have the opportunity to get screened, I do not hesitate. This is my third test and I call on all my peers to know their status, so as to ensure better living standards for themselves”, she added. The ceremony was attended amongst others by administrative authorities, members of the diplomatic corps and some local artists.

*(ASMAC & UB Journalism Students on Internship)