Ministry partners with SFH to combat HIV and AIDS in education sector




The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Society for Family Health (SFH) have produced a report that will help combat scourge of HIV and AIDS in the education sector.

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, presented the report at the official Dissemination of Report of the Impact Evaluation of Family Life HIV and AIDS Education on Tuesday in Abuja.

Adamu, represented by Mrs Justina Ibe, the Director, Education Support Services in the ministry, said the initiative was borne out of the need to equip the in-school youth to abstain from pre-marital sex.

He said that the dissemination of the draft report was a scientific declaration that used the curricular and co-curricular strategies to communicate sexuality information to adolescents in the sector.

The minister said the awaited dissemination exercise was delayed after the exit of the Global Fund Round nine phase two interventions on HIV and AIDS in schools.

“To fill the gaps and sustain this good initiative, Famliy Life HIV and AIDS Education (FLHE) embodies the new vision and effort to combat the HIV and AIDS scourge in the education sector.

“The exercise is a holistic effort to move the country forward and create a better HIV free society for young people.

“I implore that as partners, we should all contribute our quota to ensure the success of the exercise.’’

According to him, the report will be beneficial to the development of the country as well as free the country from HIV and AIDS.

The Managing Director, SFH, Mr Bright Ekweremadu said the implementation of Family Life and HIV Education (FLHE) in both the lower and upper secondary schools was paramount to the eradication of the scourge in the country.

Ekweremadu said that the impact of the FLHE on Young Persons was beclouded by the lack of empirical evidence to show the efficiency and effectiveness of this approach at reaching young people within schools.

He said that students and young adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 years accounted for 54 million of the population, hence the need to educate them on the dangers of the epidemic.

“It is against this background that the Society for Family Health with the Federal Ministry of Education and National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) collaborate to have a free HIV and AIDS society.

“The Global Fund Round nine Phase two HIV grant in Nigeria (January 2013 and June 2015), conducted a quasi-experimental study to evaluate the Impact of the FLHE programme among In-school students in Nigeria.

“The overall objective of the impact evaluation study was to identify proven intervention approaches to promoting sexual and reproductive health of in-school youths for better programming among them.’’

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He said that the evaluation compared the knowledge in selected indicators of persons, who have been exposed to the intervention with those of equivalent persons who had not been exposed.

He added that lack of funding of the initiative, however, brought about the development of a road map to further embellish and sustain the programme into the school system.

“ Unfortunately, this is yet to be implemented by the country, leaving a huge gap which is capable of eroding the gains made over the years.

“If Nigeria would curb the spread of new HIV infections, reduce teenage pregnancies to change the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic, we cannot ignore the continuation of the implementation of the programme.

“FLHE programme is a veritable strategy in the fight against HIV and other reproductive challenges facing young adolescents in the country.’’

Ekweremadu said the Society for Family Health was, however, poised to ensuring the sustainability of the FLHE programme.

He said the organisation would continue to partner government agencies (Federal/State/LGAs) and donour agencies to resuscitate FLHE programming in Nigeria.

FLHE is an initiative of the Federal Government to reach in-school youths with factual reproductive health and HIV prevention information using curricular approach.

The FLHE curriculum was developed by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Universal Basic Education and Action Health Incorporated.

It was introduced in Nigeria in 2003.