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Youth Receive HIV/AIDS Prevention Skills 

By Nancy Saahkem*

Some 35 young people were, September 9, trained on how to prevent HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s).  The youth were trained under the auspices of the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa, SWAA-Cameroon,in Yaounde.

SWAA-Cameroon Trained Youngsters Ready To Stem HIV’AIDS Spread

The 7th batch of the sex education program which began in February this year, was aimed at training young people of all ages to empower them educate other peers in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other STD’s in the society. “The Sentinel,” a code name given to the 7th batch, learned how to know themselves better, use female and male condoms, how to avoid HIV, STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and how the  media, culture and religion influence decision making amongst others.

SWAA-Cameroon, National President, Prof. Dora Mbanya, a medic by profession, stated that the organisation exists in some 42 countries with headquarters in Dakar, Senegal. She said they saw the need for such training since the pandemic was spreading with the youth being the most infected and affected.

“If sex is not well handled, AIDS will be rampant,” she said. She said those trained before have been integrated in other NGOs, while some came back to assist in training others. “They can manage themselves and some have integrated in their communities and are greatly helping the youth,” she said.

Prof. Mbanya said the training will continue if there is more funding considering that the program has been of importance to the young people. She made mention of the International Women Health Coalition that has been providing funds for the program and hoped that they would continue to do so.

“There are no prerequisites for choice of youth for the training. First come, first served,” she told The Post while referring to the category of those required to benefit. One of the beneficiaries of the training, Fanny Nantuh, she said the programme has helped her to learn how to advise without judging.

Nantuh stated that she has become reliable as people confide in her and that she is now much more mature in her thinking and behaviour. She advised the youth to remain steadfast as she reiterated the reality of HIV/AIDS. The SWAA organisation, a Pan-African NGO, was founded in May 1988.

The Cameroon Chapter with branches in the Centre, Littoral, South, Northwest and Southwest Regions, was created on March 11, 1991 and has so far trained over 200 youth since the program started in 2005. SWAA acknowledges that women are particularly affected by HIV and has gained more than 19 years experience in advocating on behalf of women, children and families in the fight against HIV.

*(UB Student on Internship)

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