Still on Covenant Univerity's compulsory HIV testing


The insistence of Covenant University, believed to be Nigeria’s best private University to justify their policy of pre-graduation compulsory HIV and pregnancy screening as a pre-requisite to graduation has continued to generate fury on Nigeria’s foremost HIV/AIDS egroup; hosted by JAAIDS.
The Vice Chancellor Bishop Oyedepo is quoted by Thisday newspapers to have said that these tests inculcate good morals, discipline and leadership qualities! Wow…

Surprisingly too Thisday Newspapers, one of Nigeria’s most respected dailies has come out defending Oyedepo in an editorial on the 3rd of August. This shows that the complexity of HIV, its causes, complications, and implications are not yet fully understood by many. A coalition of NGOs has given the university a 14 day ultimatum to rescind its decision. The count-down has started.

While the achievements of Covenant University in providing a sane learning environment said to be devoid of cult activities that have plagued Nigerian public universities is to be lauded, its management should seek advice from experts in this area on how best to prevent HIV/AIDS. The most instinctive approaches have often been shown not to work.

One question…Have the VC and Staff all been compulsorily tested? Annually? If the students are expected to do this, why not the VC? …especially in an era of servant-leadership.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

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