Level 100 HIV/AIDS Peer Educators Undergo Training
A day’s training workshop has been held for level 100 students who were selected by their departments to serve as peer educators in their departments at the University.
The workshop took place on Wednesday, 17th March, 2021, for peer educators at Winneba Campus and Friday, 19th March, 2021, for peer educators at Ajumako Campus. The training was intended to endow participants with the requisite knowledge, skills and other resources to enable them to raise awareness, provide accurate information to help their colleagues to be sexually responsible, particularly within this COVID-19 era.
The Coordinator, HIV/AIDS Unit and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Resource Management, Mrs. Priscilla Yaaba Adjei, in her welcome address, pointed out that one of the strategies adopted worldwide to help prevent HIV/AIDS pandemic and its related issues among the youth is peer education.
“Empirically, people in their youthful age are identified as the most at-risk sexual group. They are also believed to appreciate and are easily influenced positively by peer-led interventions. Therefore, convince your colleagues to practice the A, B, C (Abstinence, Being faithful to their partner, and Condom use) of HIV/AIDS and also, to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols to save the nation’s human capital,” she charged the peer educators.
The resource person for the workshop, Dr. Adjoa Afriyie Poku, in her presentation on “the role of peer educators in the prevention of HIV/AIDS”, took participants through the meaning of HIV/AIDS, transmission, stages, statistics on HIV infections in Africa and Ghana, and treatment. She made participants understand who they are as peer educators; their roles, qualities and challenges.
According to Dr. Afriyie Poku, a peer educator provides accurate information and opportunities for the exploration of the personal goals and values that challenge and empower students to make safe and informed choices. She, therefore, urged peer educators to facilitate healthy behaviours among their peers by presenting participative activities on campus to raise awareness and knowledge on HIV/AIDs.
The facilitator added that mobilising learners’ involvement and participation in the promotion of healthy behaviour; facilitating change in peer-group norms by creating a context to discuss sexual relationships, gender issues and values; being available to peers for informal conversation, support and guidance; and being role models of healthy behaviour are important roles of peer educators.
Dr. Afriyie Poku encouraged peer educators to exhibit self-confidence, respect, attributes of not being judgemental, passion for HIV/AIDs issues, commitment, enthusiasm, trustworthiness and approachability. She also entreated them to volunteer, improve their interpersonal and communication skills.