As part of efforts to sustain commitment to the fight against HIV&AIDS, the Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCAA) has unveiled a schedule of activities to commemorate 2018 World AIDS Day.

The move is aimed at giving importance to the all-important international day celebrated annually since 1988.

Speaking at the briefing to announce the activities, Executive Secretary NiBUCAA, Gbenga Alabi stated that the Coalition and critical stakeholders would bring issues demanding attention to the fore during the course of the commemoration.

“The 2018 World AIDS Day is particularly significant. The day demands attention and support from everyone, from government to business establishments, citizens and the media. With concerted efforts, stamping out HIV&AIDS in various settlements across the country would become even easier.

“As the voice of the private sector’s response to HIV&AIDS and other associated health issues, NiBUCAA is bringing stakeholders together to address pertinent issues including; HIV prevalence rate in the country, provision of HIV Testing Services and promotion of healthy behaviours. This decision is the propeller of activities on our schedule to communicate the essence of the day whilst aligning with global efforts to reduce the impact of the pandemic.”

For ten consecutive days- November 26 to December 5, free HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) services will be offered to residents of Oshodi, Lawanson, Dopemu, Ojuelegba, Shitta, Badagry and other communities in Lagos. This is line with the Coalition’s plan to provide HCT services to 10,000 Lagos residents.

Mr. Alabi urged residents to take advantage of the opportunity to ascertain their HIV status and seek advice on leading healthy lives.

“The theme of this year’s commemoration, Know Your Status, is a call to action. NiBUCAA with financial support from Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited will offer free HIV counselling and testing (HCT) services to 10,000 residents of Lagos for eight consecutive days from Monday 26th November to Wednesday December 5th, 2018. We implore Lagosians to key into this opportunity in line with the theme of this year’s commemoration of the World AIDS Day.”   

Secondary school students will get first-hand exposure to information on HIV&AIDS at the launch of the Total school based HIV&AIDS awareness project scheduled for November 29.

Students of 5 secondary schools in District 6 of the Lagos State Ministry of Education will converge on Oshodi Comprehensive Senior High School for the launch. The project is an initiative of Total Exploration & Production Nigeria Limited and her partners with technical support from NiBUCAA.

The grand finale of the activities is December 1, the global day set aside to draw awareness and assess the impact of efforts by stakeholders to curb the HIV&AIDS pandemic. NiBUCAA and her member companies will engage in a 3km National AIDS walk to lend a strong voice and support to the global cause.

The walk will commence at 8:30am from Costain Bus Stop. NiBUCAA Co-chairs, Dr Herbert Wigwe (Managing Director, Access Bank Plc) and Mr. Nicolas Terraz (Managing Director, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited) will lead participants during the walk. The walk will climax at the National Stadium, Surulere where HIV testing services will be provided to participants and residents. Information, Education and Communication materials will be made available in addition to a talk on the theme picked this year.