The National Agency for the Control of AIDs (NACA) has a 13-member Media Advocacy team in Cross River to assist in creating more awareness and sensitising the public on the dangers of the virus.
Speaking virtually at the event, Dr. Uduak Daniels, Deputy Director South-South zonal Coordinator of NACA said the move was to consolidate on the value of institutional partnerships and collaboration with the media.
“And also to ensure that the media becomes significantly involved in the forefront of HIV/AIDs education, social mobilization, and advocacy.
“To bring about sustainable behavior and social change in the South-South Zone, ” she said.
Daniels added that the significance of the media team was creating awareness and educating the public against stigmatization as well as encouraging the masses to know their status.
“And also to encourage the infected person’s to take drugs to reduce the viral load and to help in the reduction of Mother to Child Transmission (MCT), ” she said.
She urged the partners to live up to expectations by mounting aggressive media campaigns against the spread of the virus.
The Zonal Coordinator further informed that similar advocacy team would be replicated in all the states of the South South.
In her address, Dr Etcheri Etta-Ansa Director General of Cross River State Action Committee on Control of HIV/AIDs (CR-SACA), said the issue of HIV/AIDs had become a thing of concern because the masses thought the virus was no longer in existence .
“We are coming together to educate and sensitise the public about the virus.
“The entire agency can not paddle this boat alone without the help of the media.
“This is the reason, we all have to join hands together to continue the fight and to bringing this deadly virus to an end, ” she said.
In a goodwill message, Mr Donald Akpanna the State Team Leader, RISE Project Nigeria, an implementing partner expressed support for the media advocacy
“We are proud to be associated with Cross River state HIV Response and in particular, the HIV Media Advocacy Team.
“We wish to use this medium to express our sentiments of gratitude to the Cross River state government for supporting our implementation of comprehensive HIV care and treatment services in the state, ” he said.
According to him, the HIV/AIDs Media and Advocacy team was one of such that strengthens the struggle towards HIV/AIDs Control.
Mrs Roseline Irek, the Media and Communication Director of SACA said the first task before the Committee was planning for a successful media campaign for the World AIDs day on December 1, 2021.