In its determination to joining hands with the global community to fight the HIV/AIDS scourge, the University of Calabar (UniCal) has launched a one-stop adolescent and youth friendly centre for the benefit of students and staff of the institution.
The centre which was commissioned by the Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu, to mark the World AIDS Day in Calabar, Wednesday, is a two storey building, which has an indoor sports facility, digital hub and a section for HIV/AIDs services.
Speaking shortly after being conducted round the building by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Professor Florence Obi, the Commissioner commended the institution for supporting the State government’s efforts at reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDs.
She believed that the facility would provide free HIV services, including treatment, to more than forty thousand students and staff of the institution as part of strategies to contribute to the reduction of the prevalence of AIDs in the State.
“We are here with thousands of students and all our partners to sensitize the students and create awareness on reducing HIV. Cross River has been able to reduce the prevalence rate from 6.6 percent four years ago to 1.8 percent presently
“Today, a youth friendly centre was inaugurated in UniCal and we are expecting that 40 thousand students and even staff can come in here and get services free if charge, and one dies not neccessarily need to be HIV positive to visit the buildibg.,” she stated.
On the state government’s effort to further reduce the prevalence rate of HIV, the Commissioner said a facility community-based strategy has been evolved and stakeholders engaged for effective monitoring across the state.
Speaking, the VC, Professor Obi commended the state government for choosing to celebrate this year’s World AIDS Day within the university community, which according to her, would enable thousands of students to benefit from the experiences of other young people engaged in the fight to curb the spread of the HIV virus.
The event, which had a theme:’End Inequality, End AIDS through Sustainable HIV Financing,’ also witnessed street sensitization walk within the university community