The Plateau AIDS Control Agency, PLACA, on Thursday donated 7000 Condoms and other sensitive materials to the Plateau Council of the Nigeria Union Of Journalists, saying the aim is to assist in the control the scourge of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS.
The Acting Executive Director PLACA, Mr Sunday Markus, during the event, said journalists are the mouthpiece of the society, hence, the need to sensitize them on the deadly disease, so they can better communicate the message to the wider society.
Markus posited that for the media to educate people on the subject matter, they also need to know their HIV status and go through the counseling exercise.
“Journalists are essential partners on the war against the deadly scourge called HIV and AIDS and once you neglect the media, then, we are missing it wrongly.
“That is why we have said all journalists must know their HIV status and one of the ways to get them to check their status is to offer free screening and counseling to all media practitioners within our reach”.
He also said that a comprehensive training and lecture will be given to newsmen as a guide to prevention, adding that once journalists are abreast with basic information on the killer disease, then, they can disseminate the information and educate others.
However, the PLACA boss revealed that early detection and treatment can stop the carrier from transmitting the virus to another person, adding that researchers have come up with a drug that can reduce the effect of the virus and prevent it from onward transmission.
“Once there is an early detection and treatment is administered between six to one year consecutively, the patient will live a normal life and cannot transmit the virus to another person,” the PLACA boss said.
Also speaking, Dr. David Lass, of Jordan Hospital, who are providing free eye checkup for journalists and also other citizens who availed themselves, advised journalists to always find time to go for eye checkup as they use their eyes most for their job.
Lass further advised that eyes being delicate organs of the body, need to be treated with utmost care, saying “we are suppose to know the kind of diet we eat, to keep healthy eyes”.
Responding, the Plateau Council Chairman of the NUJ, Mr. Yakubu Taddy, thanked both PLACA and Jordan Hospital for the gesture, urging journalists to take advantage of the free medical assistance to know their health status.
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