AIDS Day Celebrated In Occupied Palestinian Territory
'Stop AIDS. Keep the promise’RAMALLAH, 22 December 2005 - The Palestinian Ministry of Health, The National AIDS Committee in cooperation with UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO marked World AIDS Day in oPt today.
World AIDS Day 2005, theme 'Stop AIDS. Keep the promise.' will focus on keeping commitments to stop AIDS at all levels: personal, community, organizational and governmental.
Accordingly, the Palestinian Ministry of Health, The National AIDS Committee in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, carried out various activities involving professionals as well as young people.
To ensure that adolescents and young people are actively engaged in stopping AIDS, a contest on AIDS between two groups of nursing students enrolled at Ibn Sina College was carried out. Another contest was carried out between two groups of students from grades 10 and 11 to assess their knowledge about protection and prevention measures from HIV/AIDS. Following the contests, a theatrical play by young people on prevention and protection from AIDS was displayed.
In oPt, there are 78 reported cases of HIV/AIDS. Given the urgency to take necessary action against AIDS, the Ministry of Health, the National AIDS Committee and UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO are working closely in stopping the spread of the disease. The Ministry of Health is offering screening services, treatment and counseling services free of charge.
As part of the community awareness programme on HIV/AIDS, UNICEF supported the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education in its peer to peer counseling. This project aimed at equipping more than 4500 adolescents in nine schools with needed skills on how to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and prevent its spread This project will be expanded to fifty schools in 2006. Thanks to the United Nations Fund who supported this initiative.
At the end of the ceremony, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO were given an appreciation plaque as a token for their valuable contribution towards advancing the health situation in oPt.