By Ejike Obeta
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says it will engage over 1000 youth volunteers to facilitate its campaign against HIV/AIDS during this year’s Calabar Carnival beginning Dec. 1.
Mrs Kori Habib, Media Associate to UNFPA, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Sunday.
Habib said that the campaign tagged: “Wise up Cross River,” was part of the UNFPA’s efforts to curtail the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.
She said the volunteers who were drawn from the 18 local government areas of the state were currently undergoing training in the different roles they would play during the campaign.
The media associate said the campaign was to create awareness about the unhealthy lifestyle by the mostly youth population which could lead to the spread of the disease.
“It is part of UNFPA’s mandate to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
“We want to use young people to reach out to each other because we know that they are the vulnerable group.
“This ‘Wise up Cross River’ campaign is going to create special attraction during this year’s carnival.
“We are looking at behavioral change and we expect that over 100,000 people in Cross River will benefit directly and indirectly in the end.
“There is going to be free condoms distribution at our stand to be called `condom zone’ and free HIV test and counseling and lots more. It is going to be very interesting, ‘’ she said.
Habib said she was in Calabar to put finishing touches to the fund’s programme and strategise with its media partners on how to succeed in the campaign.
She commended the Cross River Government for giving UNFPA the opportunity to participate in the 2016 edition of the carnival which she described as one of the best in the World