Some health officials attending to port workers at Tin Can Port in Lagos, during the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Trade and Transport Facilitation Project [HIV Component] Campaign yesterday
• Coordinators says, we get many positives at each campaign
Some beneficiaries of the HIV AIDS awareness campaign among transport sector workers in the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (ALCO) have commended the programme for helping to curtail the spread of the deadly HIV AIDS.
The commendation comes even as Chairperson of the committee in charge of the programme; Dr Comfort Datong confirmed to our correspondent in Lagos yesterday that three new cases were discovered on Monday after voluntary testing of different types of port users at the Tin Can Port in Lagos.
She told our correspondent at the venue of the quarterly awareness programme which is largely supported by the Nigerian Ports Authourity (NPA) that the three carriers were discovered after tests were conducted on the transport workers who submitted themselves for testing and counseling.
Dr Datung also added that, Monday was not the first time that people tested positive to HIV tests at the centres. “There is no programme that we don’t pick up positives, we have three of them that tested positive on Monday and they have been taking to the rehabilitation centre for counseling, we do have the HIV component for three days at different centres like Tin Can 1st gate, Tin Can 2nd gate, Apapa Port, KLT terminal, and we are moving to Dockyard very soon”, she said.
“My candid advice to all stakeholders in ports is that they should check on their HIV status, it is good to know your status, once you know your status”
If you are not running away from checking your status, you are actually undoing yourself; by the time you discover, it is already too late in the day with symptoms, and it is now bringing you to the hospital, it means the disease has eaten you real deep down”, she noted.
She also explained that even though the campaign is in its sixth year and very successful, there is still a lot to be done. She added that the campaign has greatly curbed the spread of HIV AIDS.
She disclosed that the HIV Component of the Abidjan-Lagos Trade and Transport Facilitation Project is aimed at ‘’increasing access to HIV prevention , basic treatment, support and care services for vulnerable groups with particular attention to transport workers , migrants, sex workers, Customs, and Immigration officials and the local population living and working along the trade corridor’’.
Some of those who took part in yesterday’s free testing commended the programme. One of them, Mr Akinola Babatunde said he was undergoing the test for the third time. “I have done it three times, it is very good when you have trailer drivers, traders, clearing agents, there is need to sensitize them, I will advise them to take it to other places like Dockyard, Apapa port, 2nd gate Tin Can”.
He expressed appreciation to the organisers for the opportunity, even as he advised port users to take advantage of it.
Another partaker; Mr John Anapkotu [ a Dockworker];said it was also his fourth time of undergoing the HIV. “Each time NPA is doing the programme at Tin Can, I use to check my HIV status, I thank the NPA for the test, it is very good, they should take it to order ports in Nigeria since is free,