By Amadou Jadama
The Gambia is hoping to completely eradicate HIV, a virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome, by the year 2030, an assistant director at the National Aids Secretariat revealed last week.
However, to achieve such a ‘daunting’ task, Mr Alpha Khan said it requires concerted and bold efforts.
“We cannot do it alone,” he emphasised. “Everybody should participate and our belts must be tied and fight this disease.”
He advised young people and other Gambians to remain loyal to their partners and always consider the use of contraceptives.
He was speaking during a sensitisation event on HIV for orphans and foster parents, organised by Penny Appeal, an International Organisation Orphanage Centre in The Gambia.
They were in partnership with the National Aids Secretariat, targeting Gambian orphans across the country. It event took place in Kotu.
Mr Khan added: “We are empowered by the government to look into this disease and how to prevent you from having it.”
Kebba Cham, Penny Appeal Orphan Centre Manager, expressed delight with the turn out, and underscored the importance of such gatherings.
He highlighted the dangers of HIV, and called on participants to disseminate knowledge gained to their colleagues.
For his part, Lamin MN Jobe, head of Operation of the Penny Appeal Regional Office – The Gambia, stated: “Penny appeal is into lot of things in The Gambia, ranging from social development, emergencies, out-breaks like Ebola and others.
“We have ten orphanage centres and we have a big complex which we inaugurated in June. When we started, we dealt with greater Banjul and Fonis because then the staff capacity was very low.”