Abia - Dr Sam Ohieri, the Project Manager of Abia Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, has said that the state ranked eighth in the prevalence rate of the scourge in the country.
Ohieri said this at the closing ceremony of a three-day workshop for media practitioners on Behaviour Change Communication, organised by the agency in Umuahia.
He said the prevalent rate stood at 7.3 per cent in 2010, saying that the ‘’disturbing situation’’ needed the collaborative support of other change agents to reverse the tide.
Ohieri, therefore, solicited the collaboration of media practitioners in the dissemination of HIV/AIDS control messages to ‘’all the nooks and crannies of the state.
‘‘As change agents, I urge you to help the agency in the onerous task of fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in the state.’’
He promised that the agency would strive to strengthen its relationship with the media in the effort to achieve a behaviour change through communication.
Ohieri explained that HIV/AIDS control strategy now emphasised preventive measures, especially on pregnant women, in order to save the next generation from the scourge.
Different topics, namely ‘’basic facts about HIV/AIDS, ‘’ ‘’the role of condom in the prevention of HIV transmission,’’ were discussed by two recourse persons : Okechukwu Iro and Ngozi Nuel-Ogamba.
The workshop also discussed ‘’the media and HIV and AIDS : the importance of Language and the Journalist’s role.’’
Mr Hyacinth Okoli, the Chairman of Abia council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, thanked the agency for organising the workshop.
Okoli said the participants were fully educated on the nitty-gritty of what they ought to know and how to effectively report the scourge to achieve behaviour change in society.