The National Agency for the Control of AIDS has called for HIV/AIDS media awareness campaign in the country, with emphasis on state-owned media as vehicles to delivering HIV prevention messages.
“Nigeria’s HIV epidemic still remains a major public health challenge, going by the large number of people estimated to be living with the virus in the country.
“Providing factual information on the disease burden is key to ensuring many more people do not contract the virus,” the Chief Executive Officer Lagos State Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr. Oluwaseyi Temowo, said.
Welcoming the advocacy team from NACA, he noted that many advocacy visits to the state in the last few years have yielded positive results in terms of funds appropriation and actual releases.
Temowo informed the advocacy team that LSACA is doing its best to ensure that residents of Lagos are provided with information on HIV; and that anything that will help the agency to increase the awareness efforts in the public space is welcomed.
The Head of Public Relations and Protocol of NACA, Mrs. Toyin Aderibigbe, told the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan, that the visit was to plead with the relevant authority to partner with LSACA to ensure that consistent HIV prevention messages saturate the public space.
Mrs. Aderibigbe said that state-owned media organisations are encouraged to give discounted rates on all HIV related messages.
“Donor funding that was used in the past to promote HIV prevention awareness campaign are dwindling and the need for ownership and sustainability cannot be over emphasised if we must fight AIDS to finish by 2030,” she noted.
She also informed the Lagos State Commissioner for Health of the existence of National Call Centre on HIV and related diseases, which provides opportunity for Nigerians to call the toll-free line 6222 wherever they are in Nigeria and speak to trained counsellors who will answer any questions regarding HIV and other related diseases at no cost to the caller.
Responding, Bamigbetan thanked NACA for this initiative. He assured the advocacy team of Lagos State Government’s commitment to ensuring that issues of HIV/AIDS are put in proper perspectives.
The commissioner noted that information is essential in the fight against HIV/AIDS, adding that the state-owned media outfits will be encouraged to join in the efforts of providing factual information on how to prevent HIV and access care and treatment.
He also enjoined the private sector to collaborate with the government in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the state.
The advocacy team visited Eko FM, being one of the Lagos State-owned media organisations, where they were received by the General Manager of the station, Mrs. Ayo Shotonwa.
The team requested a long-term partnership with the station that will see LSACA enjoy significant discounted rates on HIV jingle messages on the platform.
Mrs. Shotonwa, in her response, said Eko FM was willing to partner with NACA and LSACA to provide information on HIV, noting that the discounted rate request will be considered to encourage the placement of HIV jingle messages for the benefit of the public.
The advocacy visits to state commissioners for Information, heads of state-owned media houses is aimed at having discounted jingle placement rates to ensure an all-round the year media campaign to prevent AIDS.
Lagos State and three other states (Rivers, Kwara and Kano) were selected as pilot states to carry out this exercise.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
You must log in to post a comment.