By Talatu Maiwada
The AIDS Health Care Foundation (AHF), an international NGO, has distributed more than 4,000 condoms and 500 sanitary pads to women and girls at Ruga community in Abuja.
Dr Chigozie Ikeh, the Site Coordinator of AHF Nigeria, said on Wednesday in Abuja that the distribution was part of activities to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child, which held on Oct. 11.
Ikeh said the event was designed for vulnerable women and girls to develop and empower themselves through various skills acquisitions.
She added that the event provided a platform to advocate for every woman and girl-child to be educated and be the best in their various fields of endeavours.
“Ruga community in the FCT is a remote area with women between the ages of 20 and 30 years who are engaged in sex trade and various vices.
“AHF is here to sensitise them on their rights as women, empower and educate them on their health, as women are more vulnerable to diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases and HIV,’’ she said.
Mrs Chinelo Achebe, the Prevention Coordinator AHF, said the organisation works with young women and adolescent girls, but the event was targeted at out-of school girls who are more vulnerable and predispose to various challenges.
Achebe said the event was focused on women and the young girls to be empowered, creative, innovative and been self-reliance as the world was becoming automated.
She added that the distribution of condoms and sanitary pads would help increase awareness and promote prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, safer sex, condom use and its role in preventing HIV and unwanted pregnancies.
“Across the states, AHF also conducts both static and mobile free HIV testing, counselling and public awareness programmes to provide condom education to encourage safer sexual practices.
“We are also involved in providing wellness services, from 8 a.m to 8 p.m which would avail people access to our facility at their own convince without any form of discrimination or stigmatisation,’’ she said.
In the same vein, Mrs Wabda Ebe, the President Wanda Adu Foundation, working in partnership with AHF, they have supported orphans, vulnerable and marginalised women and girls.
She said the foundation has provided positive intervention at Ruga community, trained young women and girls on different skill acquisition programmes educate and empower them at various capacities.
“AHF goal is also working at ending HIV and AIDS by 2030, and in achieving this, they have adopted Ruga community to provide the people with free HIV testing counselling services.
“In this community, there are over 150 women engaged in sex trade; young women and girls who suffer low self-esteem.
“They have been marginalised, discriminated, abused and raped, and the event has helped to empower them, to know they have fundamental human rights which they can exercise and care for themselves and their children,” she said.
Wanda further called on the government at all levels to support and partner with credible community based organisations that would provide support to various communities at the grassroots.