The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in partnership with Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organisation (ALCO), a non-governmental body, has conducted a free HIV/AIDS screening for port users including truck drivers, freight forwarders and food vendors.
Comfort Datong, chairperson NPA HIV Committee, who noted that it was important for the port users to know their HIV/AIDS status, said that everyone was prone to the dreaded disease.
Stating the theme of the sensitisation campaign as ‘getting to zero’, Datong disclosed that the programme was borne out of the fact that people usually did not want to hear of cases of HIV/AIDS.
“NPA and ALCO are providing the platform for people to know their health status so as to facilitate trade and generate revenue to the government. This is because if people get to know their status, the carriers among them will be referred to the various centres where they will be taken care of,” she said.
According to Datong, the programme also aimed at reducing obstacles, especially health-related issues like HIV/AIDS, capable of obstructing trade and transport business at the port. She observed that the free HIV/AIDS screening for operators in the maritime industry would create an enabling environment for healthier and hitch-free business in the sector.
The highlight of the campaign was conducting of free screening for all and distribution of free condoms for prevention purposes.