Compassion International Togo celebrates World AIDS Day with an extensive testing and counselling campaign in Haho

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©AfreePress-(Lomé, 3rd Décembre 2021)-The first of December each year marks the celebration of World AIDS Day. This pandemic, which has appeared for forty years, continues to wreak havoc around the world. In Togo, the situation is no better, but efforts are being made to allow people to know their HIV status, the only way to better protect themselves against HIV infection.

In order to participate in this fight alongside the Togolese government, the Christian NGO Compassion International Togo has been carrying out since 2012 various screening, awareness-raising and care actions for people living with HIV/AIDS. On the occasion of first December 2021, it launched a vast screening and counselling campaign in the 23 partner churches of Haho Prefecture.

The launch ceremony took place on Wednesday first of December 2021 on the Independence Square of Notsè in the presence of an audience of guests including the secretary general of the prefecture of Haho, the prefectural director of health who supports the campaign, the mayors and many traditional authorities of the area.

Representing the National Director of Compassion International Togo at the ceremony, Irénée Kodjovi GBEKOU suggested in his speech that this intervention is important for Compassion International because it is in line with the vision of the organization focused on the well-being of children.

« Screening campaigns such as the one that will take place for two days here in Haho with the support of the prefectural health directorate, aim to screen more than 12,000 people, but also to give advice so that the population, especially young people and children benefiting, can protect themselves against HIV/AIDS. One thing is however to screen, another is to be able to give psychological and especially financial support to people who have been declared positive.

With this in mind, Compassion International Togo is implementing a support program for beneficiaries, their parents, siblings living with HIV. The objective of this support is to ensure nutritional care and facilitate the medical and psychosocial care of PHAs.”

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This screening campaign is organized with the technical support of the Haho Prefectural Directorate of Health. While praising Compassion International’s interest in children’s health in the prefecture, he insisted on the need to put an end tolegalities to better defeat the pandemic.

« On this day, all those who know that they could intervene so that inequalities can begin to be reduced, are invited to do so, so that we can move towards the eradication of this pandemic that is silently decimating us. During this day the NGO International Compassion wished that people could be tested because when you do not know your status you can not say that you are fighting against anything. So the first step to take is to know your HIV status and we say thank you to the NGO International Compassion who comes to the rescue of the prefectural management so that we can go to the communities to do a screening.” Abraham ATEKPE, Haho Prefectural Director of Health, said.

The same goes for the secretary general of Haho prefecture, who came to represent the prefect. He welcomed the choice of Haho Prefecture to host this event and to launch an invitation to mobilize the population to invade the screening centers.

« Knowing your HIV status is ending AIDS » is the theme chosen by Compassion International Togo on the occasion of this day, a theme that derives from the one chosen by UNAIDS, « Ending inequalities. Ending AIDS. Ending pandemics. » During these two days of free AIDS testing on December 3 and 4, Compassion’s goal is to reach 12,000 people screened in Haho Prefecture. Its main target is the children who are beneficiaries of the Child and Youth Development Centers (CDEJ) as well as their parents and volunteers from the different communities of the prefecture.

Note that in Haho Prefecture, Compassion International works with 23 partner churches and cares for more than 4 thousand children and youth as well as pregnant women and newborns. Throughout the national territory, more than 72 thousand children and young people are cared for by Compassion International Togo.

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