The Federal Government is partnering the Society for Family Health (SFH) to combat the scourge of HIV/AIDS in schools across the country.
Presenting the combined reports at the official Dissemination of Report of the Impact Evaluation of Family Life HIV/ AIDS Education in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu said the initiative was borne out of the need to equip the in-school youths to abstain from premarital sex.
He noted that the report would be beneficial to the development of the country as well as free the country from the scourge of the HIV/AIDS.
The minister, who was represented by the Director, Education Support Services in the ministry, Mrs. Justina Ibe, noted that the dissemination of the draft report was a scientific declaration that uses the curricular and co-curricular strategies to communicate sexuality information to adolescents by the education sector.
According to him, the awaited dissemination exercise was delayed after the exit of the Global Fund Round 9 Phase 2 interventions on HIV/AIDS in schools.
“To fill the gaps and sustain this good initiative, Family Life HIV/AIDS Education (FLHE) embodies the new vision and effort to combat the HIV/AIDS scourge in the education sector.
“The exercise is a holistic effort to move the country forward and create a better HIV free society for young people. I implore that as partners we should all contribute our quota to the success of the exercise,” he said.
Managing Director of SFH, Mr. Bright Ekweremadu, stressed that the implementation of Family Life and HIV Education in both the senior secondary and junior secondary schools was paramount to the eradication of the scourge in the country.
According to him, the impact of the FLHE on young persons was beclouded by the lack of empirical evidence to show the efficiency and effectiveness of this approach at reaching young persons within schools.
He said that students and young adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 years old account for 54 million of the population, hence the need to educate them on the danger of the epidemic.
He further explained: “The Global Fund Round 9 Phase 2 HIV grant in Nigeria (January 2013 – June 2015) conducted a quasi-experimental study to evaluate the Impact of the FLHE programme among inschool students in Nigeria.
“The overall objective of the impact evaluation study was to identify proven intervention approaches to promoting sexual and reproductive health of in-school youths for better programming among them. Unfortunately, this is yet to be implemented by the country, leaving a huge gap which is capable of eroding the gains made over the years.
“If Nigeria would curb the spread of HIV infections, reduce teenage pregnancies to change the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic, we cannot ignore the continuation of the implementation of the programme.
“FLHE programme is as a veritable strategy in the fight against HIV and other reproductive challenges facing young adolescents in the country.”