Former Commissioner for Education in Delta State, Dr.(Mrs) Veronica Ogbuagu, has decried the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS scourge, lamenting that Nigeria is the third most infected country in the 3rd most infected country in the world.
According to her, over 300 deaths are recorded annually just as more than one million people are infected yearly. The educationist disclosed this during a two-day seminar on education and sensitization on Teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS control.
Ogbuagu, who is the Initiator and Founder of Every Child Counts Initiative for Education (ECCIFED) said on the occasion held at David Ejoor Army Barracks, Effurun that the seminar was pertinent to sensitize teenagers on the dangers of sex promiscuity.
She further revealed that the deadly disease occur predominately among adults from 15-50 years, depriving communities of their strongest and most productive citizens and leaving the old to care for the very young.
“Though a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), our vision is to create a society where our children are well positioned for responsibility of future leadership and parenting, said Ogbuagu adding that the body also strive to bring hope to Nigerian children through the protection and promotion of proper child up bringing.”
The educationisttsaid that a two-day workshop has been proposed for young people between the age range of 11-24 adding that the programme will include among others, lectures, role play, drama and songs.
“It is our responsibility to provide meaningful information to children, youths and adults to enable them to know how best to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. We must equip all children and young people with skills to develop attitudes to curb the deadly disease.
She added that education is not only the best vaccine available for now, stressing that every child counts Initiative for Education has its primary focus, the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS scourge before they become sexually active. She is particularly sad that some parents, especially mothers encourage their female children to indulge in sexual activities which would later result to unwanted pregnancy.
“We should not have a child that is fatherless because it increases the poverty level in the society. Parents should guide against teenage pregnancy”, said Ogbuagu at the two-day seminar that attracted scores of parents and school children.
She therefore advised parents to show love to their children especially the female whose age range between 18-25years adding that any one of them that attain marriageable age should be given out in marriage. She explained that ECCIFED is out to correct the ills in the society as it concerns young boys and girls and to also lecture them on the dangers of early pregnancy.
“Beside, we are very much concerned with the issue of the deadly HIV/AIDS scourge hence we are creating the awareness and sensitizing people to be mindful of the partners they keep”, she remarked.