The national Co-ordinator Society for Women and Children Living with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria, SOWCHAN, Mrs. Lucy Atta Enyia, has called on the people of Boki to adopt a holistic approach to supporting the people living with HIV, as well as significainfectionntly increasing awareness and preventing new infection.
Mrs Enyia made the call at a rally organised by women and youths of Katchuan Irruan in Boki local government area of Cross River State to mark this year’s World AIDS Day which was celebrated with a symposium that attracted also, community leaders, traditional rulers and religious leaders.
Commending the enthusiasm of the people, Mrs. Enyia noted that, the time is apt for the information-poor communities of Boki to key into the global celebration that has been in existence for more than 30 years .
“The progress in preventing HIV is recording extraordinary results and as such, it has become expedient for all communities, particularly, information-poor communities like Boki to key into the global thinking that, “Communities make the difference”, she noted.
Mrs. Enyia went on to state that this year’s theme, “Communitieies make the difference”, encourages us to show enthusiasm in supporting those living with the HIV virus and fighting in particular, self- inflicted stigma and all forms of discrimination in the communities.
The national Co-ordinator who is from Boki, said that the symposium was held in her locality because if the high level of ignorance that still leaves infected people, particularly, women and children most vulnerable to mortality and morbidity because mothers end up infecting their children.
“I have lived with HIV for more than 25 years and it is evident that my healthy state shows that HIV no longer kills, if you know your status and take your drugs the proper way”, she said.
She therefore, urged the community people to acquiring knowledge through the awareness that if infected persons know their status and take their drugs without self-stigmaizing themselves, they would get to a state that they can no longer infect others and the virus would be unditated and intransmitable, thereby, making it impossible for mothers to transmit the HIV virus to their unborn children.
Also in her goodwill message, Cross River State Coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Mrs. Cecilia Owada Ofum, noted that, communities, being the uniting network behind the success of the HIV response, must work together to ignite people’s interest in taking action s that would impressively reduce stigma and discrimination, which she described as the major setback in the fight against the epidemic.
“It is important that the community people embrace information-sharing among themselves so that they can be awarded of the services being made available to them.
In her address, Mentor mother and community mobilization officer in Boki, Miss Florence Abua, described the symposium as, “most impactful”, praying that more opportunities be opened for them to benefit from the much needed knowledge that hardly come their way due to the poor information system and non- accessibility of the practical offer of assistance that does not get to the rural populace.