The Community Youth Development Association Women’s wing in Makeni, northern Sierra Leone, has called on all women to be faithful to their partners.
This was the theme chosen by the group of women as a strategy to sensitize their peers on the awareness and the ‘ABC’ prevention method of HIV and AIDS.
The programme started with a procession from the Sierra Leone Muslim Brotherhood Secondary School unto the Wusum Grounds playing field.
The Makeni City Council and the Community Youth Development Association, through funds provided by the National AIDS Secretariat (NAS), have undertaken series of programmes targeting women and young girls in the Makeni community.
Alhaji Andrew Kanu, the mayor of Makeni, commended the pioneers of the project and especially the counsellor in charge of women’s affairs in the Makeni City Council, Sentho Conteh for her relentless effort in bringing the women together to educate them about the prevalence of the disease in the community.
Counsellor Andrew Kanu advised the women to take cohesive approach in sensitizing other women and young girls about the existence of the pandemic.
He said, “success in life depends on how you apply it to your situation…women are very proactive in dealing with life’s issues”.
Councillors Adama Conteh and Sentho Conteh told the women to take care of their health, adding that “women are more exposed to the disease and other sexual related infections such as syphilis and gonorrhea than their male counterparts”.
The best solution, according to the councillors, “is to abide by the ABC preventive method or better still to abstain completely”.
Ramatu Fornah, representing the women’s community based organizations, advised women to be faithful to one partner, adding that “HIV and AIDS education needs the concerted effort of all.”
She said gone were those days when women folded their hands and said nothing about issues regarding sex, “but this is the age of freedom of expression and therefore women need to be capacitated to move forward”.
Madam Fornah further called on all to join hands in the fight against the spread of the pandemic in the community.
The programme continued with a workshop in which women had the opportunity of learning more about HIV and AIDS.