The agency is looking to incorporate HIV health education into the school’s curriculum.

Busy Bee
Busy Bee November 16, 2023
Updated 2023/11/16 at 10:43 PM

The Anambra State AIDS Control Agency (ANSACA) has urged the Ministry of Education to incorporate family life and health education into the state’s school curriculum. Emphasizing the importance of this integration, the agency stated that it would not only address the growing Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) crisis among young people but also contribute to the reduction of stigma and discrimination associated with the disease.

During an advocacy visit to the ministry, Executive Director Johnbosco Ementa called for the allocation of resources for teachers’ training, curriculum development, and program rollout. Ementa expressed concern about Anambra’s currently high HIV prevalence in the South East region and warned that without intervention for in-school youth, there could be an increase in new infections, especially among adolescents.

Despite the challenges, Ementa expressed confidence in the ministry’s ability to provide leadership in monitoring and evaluating the program’s performance in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. He highlighted the urgent need for action, emphasizing that the increasing prevalence of HIV among adolescent youths is a significant public health issue.

Ementa stated, “The purpose of this advocacy brief is to make a case for incorporating Family Life and Health Education into the state school curriculum. This initiative has the potential to equip our youth with the information and skills necessary for maintaining their health, including preventing HIV/AIDS. By implementing comprehensive family life and health education within schools, we can empower adolescents with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, thereby significantly reducing HIV transmission rates.”

“It offers adolescents and young individuals pertinent and age-appropriate information and skills essential for making informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.”

In response, Commissioner for Education, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh, affirmed her ministry’s preparedness to collaborate with the agency in combating the prevailing issue.

She stated, “The most significant challenge humanity has faced, apart from tuberculosis, is HIV and syphilis. It is heartening that there are individuals actively engaged in securing and safeguarding the lives of others.

“As a ministry, beyond establishing HIV awareness clubs in schools, there might be limited actions we can take, as our curriculum aligns with the national curriculum. The only option is to localize the program by introducing extracurricular activities in the form of student clubs, which are not mandatory. Therefore, the responsibility still rests with the school principals.

“I will establish a committee in the ministry to initiate this in schools and support your efforts. You can rely on our assistance because the fight is a collective responsibility.

“We all have children. Whether visiting barber shops, markets, etc., we all share concerns. Ignoring such initiatives is akin to throwing stones in a marketplace.”

Recent News

Share this Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *