The Save Young Girls Motherhood Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation, on Tuesday carried out free medical tests for commercial sex workers in Onitsha, Anambra.
The foundation commenced a campaign in September 2021 to rescue young girls who are in the commercial sex business.
The sex workers were tested for hepatitis B and C, HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Typhoid, Sexually Transmitted Infections, STIs, amongst others by a medical team at the event.
Speaking to journalists at the event, Rev. Sister Dorathy Okoli, founder of the foundation, said many of the girls resorted to sex work due to economic hardship, poverty, lack of parental care and upbringing.
“I have encountered so many of these young girls and when they narrated their experiences, I realised they are suffering and need help.
“Many of them are homeless, orphans, abandoned by their parents; some are school dropouts while some are graduates with no means of livelihood.They, however, resort to sex work to feed and cater for themselves.
“They need help because many of them are not happy with what they are doing and the society cannot continue to ignore these girls. This is why I started this foundation to see if we can rescue them from such life.
“They need support such as healthcare, food, shelter, rehabilitation, counseling and empowerment,” she said.
Ms Okoli urged government at all levels, corporate organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to support the foundation by building a rehabilitation centre for the sex workers.
“Many of them complained about having some health challenges which was why we are carrying out this free health tests.
“Ordinarily the medical tests should not be carried out in the brothels because most of the girls return to the same vocation, to meet the same disease that had been detected and treated.
“It is really a disturbing development for the organisation which is why we are calling for support to build a rehabilitation center where the repentant girls will be taken care of, empowered and reintegrated into the society, ” she said.
Ms Okoli said the foundation would follow-up on those who tested positive to any of the tests to ensure immediate treatment.