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Togo: Campaign draws thousands for testing

Ornela Emefa Pakou, CEL

A campaign just undertaken by the Centre Esperance Loyola (CEL) and partners in Togo did no less than 7,000 tests for HIV, Hepatitis and blood group in just over two weeks.

The campaign raised awareness and offered Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) in schools and other institutions in Agoé and its environs. Twenty sites benefited, including the CEL itself, in the campaign that ran from 28 November to 15 December.

The CEL staff were supported in this endeavour by lab technicians from three health centres run by the Catholic Church in Togo. Apart from HIV testing, the CEL and partners offered tests for Hepatitis B and C as well as blood group. Hepatitis is widespread in Togo at the moment with an estimated 14% prevalence rate. The team was composed of lab technicians and counsellors who did pre and post-test counselling before results were divulged.

This year, the CEL reached at least 15,000 people through its campaigns about diverse health-related topics including routes of transmission, prevention and care of HIV, Hepatitis B and C; the importance of knowing one’s blood group, and general health education.

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