Jan 5, 2009, 5:43 AM
The community of Wellingara village in Kombo North, mostly youths were recently sensitised on the scourges of HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy and STDs and other reproductive health issues by the Network of Adolescent Youths in Population and Development (NAYPOD).
The sensitisation was part of a vigorous campaign that aims to sensitise the grassroots community about the above mentioned issues.
The network is representative of teenagers and young people organisation working in the field of population and development, sexual and reproductive health and the fight against HIV, in particular.
The network aimed among others to create a favourable environment to promote adolescent youths and reproductive and ensure young people's effective participation in the fight against HIV, poverty, unemployment, and gender inequality.
Addressing the gathering, the Administrative Secretary of the Network, Mr. Lamin K. Saidy, said the campaign will continue in other communities, targeting mostly young people as they are the most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
In his presentation on HIV/AIDS, Mr. Bakary Badjie of the Child Protection Alliance said HIV/AIDS has no cure and is one of the killer diseases in the world since its discovery in United States in 1987.
According to him, the sub-Saharan African remains the biggest reported cases of the disease. He revealed that 522 million people around the world are infected with HIV/AIDS, which he added, is a cause for concern.
On the issues of transmission, he stated that the virus can be transferred from one person to another, through unprotected sex, use of unsterilised materials, blood transfusion, among others.
Also, speaking at the ceremony was the Executive Director of the National Youths Council Marchel Mendy, who advised young people to work hard and contribute their quota towards national development.
Mr. Mendy said the council will not relent in its efforts in ensuring that youths achieve their desired goals and aspirations.
Other speakers at the forum included Lamin Marong, the Chairperson of the Network, who gave a brief account of the network and its activities, and Kawsu Badjie, a resource person who dealt on STDs and its effects.