Institute woos religious leaders on HIV/AIDS counselling

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The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, has said it will empower women, traditional, religion and community leaders with requisite skills to counsel people on HIV and AIDS.

Chief Executive Officer of the institute, Dr. Patrick Dakum, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday that there was the need to intensify efforts to curtail new infections.

Dakum said the institute would empower the leaders with necessary skills that would enable them to provide service.

He said, “There are primary health care centres in every community. But beyond the centres, there are world development committees; there are village development committees. All these committees are PHC structures that are taking health care to communities.

He explained that the committees were made up of traditional leaders, religious leaders, women and youth leaders.

“We are working with them; we want to empower them with information and the skills to be able to counsel people and test people in their communities. These leaders have been empowered to be able to identify those that were positive and help them to be able to source treatment in the appropriate centres.”

Dakum further said the institute had organised a series of HIV and AIDS supportive programmes such as free treatment and supply of laboratory equipment to some hospitals in the country.

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