Sunday, 31 May 2020

Teknaf, Bangladesh:  A one-day workshop was held in a Burmese refugee camp on HIV/AID and family planning, according to a Majee from the camp.

The workshop was organized by the Family Planning Association Bangladesh (FPAB) and was supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on November 20. The training began at 10 am and was concluded 00:30 pm.

Twelve armed policemen (Lal Bahani), 12 Ansars, eight policemen and 50 Block Committee members participated in the workshop. The trainees were provided one exercise book, one pen and one plastic bag. There were a total of 80 trainees.

A doctor from FPAB came from Dhaka and presided over the training. He said that lack of proper knowledge on HIV/ AIDS is highly risky. Only 17 percent of the most-at-risk groups have correct knowledge about prevention of the disease and most people have misconceptions about it. Nearly 50 per cent of the married women and 42 per cent of men of the age group 15-54 years have no idea about how to avoid HIV.  He asked the participants to use condoms during sexual intercourse.

There is urgent need to lay emphasis on education, poverty alleviation, and regular media coverage for disseminating knowledge about HIV/AID and offer sex education to adolescents and the young under an academic programme. More than 380 NGOs, AIDS service organizations, and civil society bodies have been implementing various programmes and projects across the country to contain the menace, he said.

Family planning is a critical issue and it requires attention at the highest level and concerted efforts are needed to reduce the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to 2.2 per thousand live births by 2008.  The present TER in the country has remained stagnant at three per thousand live births for the last few years, and if it continues, it would not be possible to meet the millennium development goals.

The Camp-in- Charge of the Nayapara camp and UNHCR representatives Mr Wahid, and Teknaf Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) participated in the training.