Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Nigeria: AIDS Foundation Inaugurates Community Advocacy Clubs In 3 States

By Justina Auta

An NGO, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), on Friday, inaugurated community advocacy clubs in three states to address public health and developmental challenges in the communities.

Advocacy and Marketing Manager of AHF, Mr Steve Aborisade, made the disclosure during the inaugural launch of FCT Community Advocacy Club in Waru community, Abuja.

Aborisade said that the advocacy clubs were inaugurated in three communities across the AHF states of operation, including Waru community in Abuja, Seriki Noma in Kogi and Guruku in Nasarawa State.

According to him, the establishment of the advocacy forum is aimed at mobilising and educating community members to participate in community-led advocacy.

“The establishment of advocacy forums in the communities is to revitalise and mobilise patients and non-patients’ interest and participation in community-led advocacy.

“They are to advocate for their fundamental rights, engage with decision makers and champion courses that address public health issues and their wellbeing.

“It has become important to identify community actors, bring them together and empower them with skills on advocacy so that they can push the development agenda in their communities.

“This, therefore, is in the realisation that when communities own an intervention, it becomes easier to achieve the set objectives, hence its sustainability is guaranteed through community ownership,” he said.

Aborisade further listed the criteria for selecting the club members, which included: individual’s dedication to community service, outstanding qualities and willingness to commit time without expectation of payment, among others.

Cross section of the Advocacy Club members, at Guruku community, Keffi, Nasarawa state, by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF Nigeria).

A resident of Waru community in Abuja, Mr Goon David, said that the Waru advocacy club would steer and enlighten the community members on the need to support one another.

“This notable club will also change the negative narrative held by uninformed populace of Waru in regards to drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, stigmatisation, child abuse and early marriage.

Also speaking, Mr Bala Namama from Kogi advocacy club, expressed great pleasure in AHF for selecting the community for such platforms.

Namama, however, pledged the commitment and support of community heads and chieftains to the clubs to enhance the development of the communities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the advocacy community club concept will be implemented in 13 African countries with AHF bureaux. (NAN)

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