2023 Calabar Carnival: Gov Otu Flags Off Activities

  • Embarks on 5km walk for HIV/AIDS
  • Gives kudos to donor agencies, NGOs

BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR – Governor Bassey Edet Otu of Cross River State has kick-started activities marking the 2023 Calabar Carnival with a five (5) kilometre city walk in commemoration of this year’s World AIDS Day.

The City walk, which took off at about 9 am from the popular Rabana/IBB Way Round About on December 1st ended at the Calabar Municipal Gardens, where the State’s First Lady, Her Excellency, Reverend Mrs Eyoanwan Otu cut the tape to declare open the Christmas Village.

Gov Otu and Wife, EyoAnwan

Rev Mrs Otu, who represented her husband at the ceremony, highlighted several measures taken by the government to curb the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus across the State.

She said these include her pet medical outreach programme which besides offering free medical services to women and children, has raised public awareness in the rural areas on the dangers associated with not knowing one’s HIV/AIDS status.

Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration; “Let Communities Lead”, the Governor’s wife said without communities’ involvement in the campaign against the spread of the virus, the United Nations’ target year of 2030 to end new infections may remain a mirage.

On the challenges facing the process of eradicating the virus in the state, Rev Mrs Otu Excellency identified the trans-population migration issue as a major factor, noting that besides sharing borders with neighbouring states of Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, and Benue, the State also shares an international border with the Republic of Cameroon.

According to her, such a situation is impacting negatively on the government’s effort to ensure that the state ranks high among, the list of HIV AIDS safe landscapes.

She lauded the various international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that participated in the Walk and for offering free HIV/AIDS testing exercises to the volunteers.

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