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Indian Olympic Association And UNICEF To Collaborate On HIV/AIDS Awareness

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and UNICEF would collaborate on spreading awareness regarding the transmission and protection of HIV virus. The collaboration would help spreading awareness to young people the dangers of HIV infection//. The program would enhance national awareness through sports as children’s and young people are more attracted towards sports meet and events.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Delhi in the presence of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit between IOA president Suresh Kalmadi and Eimar Barr, deputy director (operations) Unicef-India, at the Asian Workshop on HIV/AIDS prevention through sports.

UNICEF as a primary goal of implementing programs to educate sports officials, coaches and players on life skills and HIV/AIDS prevention as it would help them to empower the young with accurate knowledge of the disease and its spread. UNICEF works closely with young people on awareness and preventing new infections, offers programs to prevent parent-to-child transmission of HIV. UNICEF provides care, protection and support to children orphaned and made vulnerable by the disease.

The main objective of the IOA- UNICEF collaboration will focus on promoting initiatives to enhance national awareness of UNICEF program priorities, using the opportunities provided through national games, use of sports celebrities for endorsements, special events, field visits and public service announcements with special focus on awareness generation amongst the youth on protecting themselves from HIV.

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IOA president Suresh Kalmadi said, "The Indian sports community has a great history of supporting social causes. Through sport, many health issues can be acknowledged and understood, and at the same time students and players can be educated about how they can contribute towards raising awareness about health issues."

Eimar Barr, deputy director (operations) Unicef-India said, "Uni cef strongly believes that sports-related organizations are uniquely poised to spread crucial information and prevention messages about HIV/AIDS to young people and HIV/AIDS education can be imparted during practices, through coaching sessions, during events and at breaks and half-times."

Source: Indo-Asian News Service

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