UNMISS begins HIV/AIDS training in Malakal
13 February 2012 - To assist in spreading the message about HIV/AIDS, UNMISS began a training course for "peer educators" in the Upper Nile State capital of Malakal today.
In opening remarks, UNMISS' State Coordinator in Upper Nile, Seth Kumi expressed appreciation for the role the mission's HIV/AIDS unit had played in training educators and encouraged participants to take the 10-day course seriously.
"HIV/AIDS is real and we will continue to support you in every manner to spread the message of HIV/AIDS," Mr. Kumi said.
The training was attended by 30 representatives from civil organizations, the South Sudan HIV/AIDS Commission, South Sudan Police Service, Sudan People's Liberation Army, the non-governmental organization World Vision and UNMISS staff as well as religious leaders.
Eunice Ayikoru, UNMISS HIV/AIDS Unit team leader in Upper Nile, said the course's aim was to equip participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to plan, organize and conduct HIV/AIDS training in their workplaces.
"Post conflict areas are being marked as high risk areas (for HIV/AIDS), and South Sudan has been in conflict for years," Ms Ayikoru said. "We place emphasis on HIV/AIDS to curb the spreading of the disease in Upper Nile State."
She stressed the need to draw together all concerned groups and fight HIV/AIDS collectively. "We have to involve religious leaders and all other stakeholders to fight HIV/AIDS."