TB a major problem in Lagos Nigeria

Sister Eunice Okobia writes from Lagos

With the rise of HIV and AIDS, TB has once again become a major problem in Lagos. There is a prevalence of HIV among an estimated 5.9 million people, and half of these are also testing positive for TB. Due to poverty and lack of employment, young women become involved in casual sex and are therefore prone to HIV infection.

We felt it was important to create awareness of HIV and AIDS among young people. We also needed to train thirty home base care-givers, and another thirty people as HIV/AIDS Counselors.

It was hard work! Teachers in ten schools invited us to provide workshops for them.

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These included government-run schools, Muslim schools and private schools. Likewise we received invitations from people in two Protestant churches, and the staff of three health clinics.

Gradually we could see that many people were beginning to change their negative attitude and fear towards people living with HIV and AIDS. They are beginning to recognise some of the suspicious symptoms and encouraging family members to seek medical help.

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Most of all, they are beginning to understand that HIV is not the work of witches or bad omens. They are taking the virus seriously and are taking steps to live positively.

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