The Chinese Embassy in Nigeria on Thursday donated N2 million naira to the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) to support its humanitarian activities in Benue.
The Secretary-General of the society, Mr Bello Diram, said the donation was for the sensitisation and mobilisation of 12, 600 individuals in Takar and Katsina Ala Local Government Areas of the state.
He said that about 1,800 households would be reached by the 30 Red Cross volunteers on HIV testing, awareness creation, and referrals to local health institutions.
``The Chinese embassy donated the sum of two million naira to Nigerian Red Cross Society to carry out some HIV programmes in two local governments of Benue State.
``And the programmes are not for treatment but for sensitisation and mobilisation of persons of that local government to go for testing to know their status in a government approved health centres within the areas.
``We are targeting about 1,800 households equivalent to 12,600 individuals, 30 of our volunteers will work in collaboration with our local health institutions or personnel as well as the SACA of Benue State that is the Benue State government.
``Part of it is the sensitisation; there is nothing in knowing your health status once you agree to go there it is as good as helping yourself because if you know your health status earlier it will help in managing the disease.
``Since you have not escaped contracting the disease, you should be able to manage it in order to live like normal human beings,`` he stated.
Mr Deng Boqing, the Chinese Ambassador, said that the donation was to support the Red Cross in its activities of rendering humanitarian services during disasters and emergencies.
He said China acknowledged the fact that vulnerable people were the ones usually affected, citing example from HIV and AIDs as people were easily stigmatised and discriminated against.
He expressed the hope that through that, awareness creation would go a long way in bringing life back to people affected and infected by the HIV virus.
``Red Cross Society is an International family and so many people have got their benefits from their contributions. In Nigeria, Red Cross Society has also done a wonderful job.
``From the Nigeria side, no matter the disasters or emergencies occurred, so they are always there to rescue them.
``So this time, we focus to the HIV and AIDs because HIV and AIDs is international challenge and it is known as pendent killer in the world.
``So many people suffer from HIV and AIDs and also on another hand they sometimes are treated and fear in terms of stigma and discrimination and also disease known so how to equip the public with the awareness of HIV and AIDs and then how to rescue the patients and how to establish a normal life for them.`` Deng said.
Boqing said that it was better for them to work together and also called on other stakeholders to partner with the society, as many people were affected unconsciously. (NAN)