The UNFPA West and Central African Regional Head of HIV, Mr. Pierre Robert, has expressed willingness to further support ECEWS to create a future free of HIV, STIs and unwanted pregnancies for the young people of Nigeria.
After a tour round the UNFPA funded ECEWS confidence center, Calabar Street, Uyo, in company with, Zubaida Abubakar, UNFPA programme analyst for Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health, Mr. Robert was impressed with the positive things going on in the center. He says, “I was very encouraged to see a lot of young women come in here. It is a place where young people can come and learn about Reproductive Health and HIV. You can freely come in at any time and receive the services that you need in a very safe environment. It is a very good initiative and I support it very much.
Speaking further, He urged ECEWS to keep doing its good work to attract more young people to the center. “You will notice that when people can speak openly and freely about sexuality and about Family Planning, they will be healthier. You will have less unwanted pregnancies, less STIs, less HIV.”
In his remark, the Executive Director of ECEWS, Andy Eyo expressed appreciation to UNFPA for the privilege of partnership granted ECEWS. He further stated that the confidence center though having the appearance of gaming center serves as a hub to attract all kinds of people including sex workers to access Sexual and Reproductive Health/HIV services adding that 927 people have been tested for HIV/Hepatitis B&C between Jan-Sept with 39 positives recorded.
He however encouraged UNFPA to leverage on the serenity and popularity of the center to scale up Family planning services.
Mr. Eyo also identified the Calabar Carnival being the biggest street party in Africa and the Christmas Village in Akwa Ibom State as viable opportunities to accentuate sensitization on Sexual and Reproductive Health/HIV.
The Information/Technology Manager, Mr. Samuel Benson demonstrated the use of the ECEWS confidence center social media App which provides an opportunity for everyone to chat with HIV, Family Planning and Sexual/Reproductive Health Counsellors even at the comfort of their homes.