NGO runs free medical tests for commercial sex workers in Onitsha

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NGO Runs Free Medical Tests For Commercial Sex Workers In Onitsha

 

A Non-Governmental Organization, Save Young Girls Motherhood Foundation, has carried out free medical tests for commercial sex workers in Onitsha.

The NGO has been championing a novel campaign since September last year to rescue young girls who are into commercial sex business.

The girls were tested mainly for hepatitis B and C, the two most deadly variants of the killer disease, as well as HIV and AIDS

There were also tests for malaria and typhoid fever, and Sexually Transmitted Infections, STIs.

Patrons who showed willingness were equally tested.

But, getting the girls to run the test was another uphill task, different from calling their attention in the first place.

Though the exercise was carried out free of charge, it took more than just the usual persuasion to get them to comply.

The results of the tests would later be sent to their collated phone numbers, after which those whose test came back positive would be expected to visit hospitals for immediate treatment.

The founder of Save Young Girls Motherhood Foundation, Reverend Sister Dorathy Okoli, in an interview, said that ordinarily the medical tests should not be carried out in the brothels giving that the girls mostly return to the same vocation, to meet the same disease that had been detected and treated, a disturbing development for the organization.

She maintained that the organization direly needs a rehabilitation home where the repentant girls could be kept to learn vocational training, after which they would be empowered, to help them become financially independent and keep their minds away from the odd job.

Miss Ogechukwu Ihejirika, a medical lab scientist who carried out tests, praised the foundation for leading the front line in volunteerism, but observed that it needs external support to achieve its overall target.

Miss Ihejirika also noted that many girls who venture into commercial sex business must have been pushed by one societal negative or the other, and need such social assistance — as is rendered by the NGO — to heal.

Reverend Sister Dorathy Okoli can be reached via: 08032264250.

•ABS