Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta
Delta Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, has said that People Living With HIV/ AIDS (PHWHA) in the state will soon benefit from government’s empowerment programmes.
The commissioner disclosed this on Monday when the Zonal Coordinator, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Uduak Daniel, led his team on a courtesy visit to Asaba.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Executive Secretary, Delta State Agency for the Control of AIDS (DELSACA), Dr John Osuyali, and Head, Prevention and Communication Unit, Delta , Dr Iheaka Ezieme, were part of he team.
Aniagwu said that stigmatisation of the victims of HIV/AIDS had remained because of the initial fears and lack of effective communication on the virus emergence, while calling on everyone to know their status.
He said that a lot of sensitisation about the virus and emergence of anti-retroviral drugs had been provided to enable people live freely.
He commended the efforts of NACA and its partners for making Delta lead the chart in ensuring that the virus is being tackled for a healthier society.
He noted that a healthy environment would contribute to productivity in every sector of the state.
He also applauded the team’s dedication in the area of case tracing, identifying and reducing the ability of carriers to infect others, adding that people should stop seeing the virus as a death sentence.
The commissioner promised to promote the sensitisation of the public on different media platforms for free as part of a community service.
He said that Delta had recorded a milestone in tackling the virus, but called for more efforts to get to a stage that people would stop being scared about it.
Earlier, Daniel said that the HIV/AIDS response was not strictly a heath sector issue, but multi-sectoral, adding that the support given to other sectors should also be extended to the HIV/AIDS sector.
She said that new HIV self-testing kits had been launched and are readily available in health facilities to avoid stigmatisation and to also ensure a more productive workforce.
She appealed to the commissioner and also the state government to include the PLWHA into different programmes, adding that it would increase the confidence level of the victims.
On his part, Osuyali said that a lot had been done by the organisation to curtail the virus in the last two years.
He said that within the period, 22,700 persons were on treatments, but 68,000 persons have now been traced and being treated.
He thanked the state government for its support, assuring that they would not relent in the discharge of their duties to intensify efforts in case tracing and treatment. (NAN)