The Gambia’s Army Holds Program To Encourage HIV/AIDS Awareness, Leadership
The HIV/AIDS Prevention Program Unit of The Gambia's armed forces earlier this week held an educational program for military leaders and personnel in an effort to promote education and leadership regarding the disease, the Daily Observer/AllAfrica.com reports. U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia Barry Wells during the program said that HIV/AIDS continues to harm militaries across Africa, adding that many militias fail to address the disease as a major public health issue. He continued that allowing HIV/AIDS to "eat away at military forces around the world" leaves "borders unprotected, security in jeopardy and the people of our nations vulnerable." He added that military leaders can impart the behavioral changes needed to curb the spread of the disease.
In addition, Wells said that the militia should raise awareness among members in order to disseminate HIV/AIDS awareness to citizens. Lt. Col. Yankuba Drammeh noted the impact of HIV/AIDS in The Gambia, adding that it affects the economic and national security of the country. Drammeh said that the military is committed to raising awareness in the country and among personnel (Ngum-Saidy/Janneh, Daily Observer/AllAfrica.com, 4/29).