One of the largest Christian relief and development organizations in the world is increasing its efforts to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in the war-torn nation of Liberia, reaching out to the educational sector as its new target.
To promote awareness of the disease, World Vision Liberia has produced a set of health education teachers' manuals, as well as brochures and posters for school students. The materials have been distributed in 221 schools in Grand Cape Mount and Montserrado Counties.
The importance of these resource materials cannot be overstated, said A. Jadee Seyon, a Montserrado County school principal, speaking on behalf of fellow participants at one of four three-day intensive workshops for teachers and students in the target schools.
They could not have come at a better time than these days, when the HIV/AIDS scourge is spreading throughout our country, he continued. We will do our best to make proper use of the materials for the benefit of ourselves, our students and our communities.
With funding from the Government of Switzerland and World Vision Switzerland, the instruction manuals were produced with expertise from the Ministries of Health and Education, Mother Parttern College of Health Sciences, and the Christian Health Association of Liberia.
Topics covered in the manuals include hygiene promotion, sexually transmitted infections, reproductive health, nutrition, counseling, and gender issues.
Before distributing the resources, World Vision ran four three-day intensive workshops for teachers and students in the target schools. These focused on appropriate ways to distribute the materials, as well as promoting the creation of health clubs in the schools to ensure the messages continue to be passed on.
HIV/AIDS education is an integral component of World Vision's primary healthcare activities in Liberia, the organization reported.
Currently, World Vision runs nine primary health clinics in the country, five in Bomi County and the rest in Montserrado County.