Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Universities to attend national HIV debate

STUDENTS from the country’s six universities will be engaged in the national HIV youth debate (NHYD) in Madang starting tomorrow.
Two teams each from Vudal University, University of Goroka, Pacific Adventist University (PAU), University of Papua New Guinea, University of Technology and host Divine Word University will compete in this debate.
The debate on HIV/AIDS is seen as an important cross cutting issue into all the sectors of the country and affects everyone, said PNG Eco Forestry Forum (PNG EFF) executive director Thomas Paka.
Paka said it was because of this that the organisation has come to assist the National AIDS Council Secretariat (NACS) and to show their appreciation for this undertaking.
PNG EFF chairman Kenn Mondiai, upon presenting the K2,000 cheque for the debate, congratulated Sir Peter Barter for this initiative as it gives opportunities to the youths to learn more about the virus.
He said this was also a show support from the NGO members of PNG EFF who are willing to assist facilitate NACS activities in rural areas where they were based.
Mondiai said this would also help those groups who deal with HIV awareness in their conservation programmes.
NACS provincial programmes manager Philip Tapo said the idea was for the youths to be involved in the HIV response as they know their own problems and are the better solution providers.
Tapo said since most HIV patients were youths, this event will get them to talk, research, debate and learn more about the virus and how they can stop this pandemic.
He said this positive event would be widely published and telecvised and should call attention to everybody to contribute to reducing the spread of HIV, which is now in rural areas.
The day event is expected to announce a winner by the evening to allow the teams to attend a field trip the next day. All teams will leave by Friday.
The winning team will become the Prime Minister’s HIV ambassadors for a period of 12 months, mentor the 2011 NHYD teams and be invited to participate in various HIV forums.
They will also be offered a four-week paid work experience Lahara Cadetship with the office of the director of NACS and work on projects of importance in Port Moresby or in the provinces.

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