Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has restated the commitment of the Governor Kayode Fayemi-led administration to the welfare of the People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) through empowerment schemes.
She made the cheering pronouncement during the distribution of equipment and materials worth over N3.5million to seventy-five PLWHAs, under the aegis of Network of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
The governor’s wife is also the chairperson of Ekiti State AIDS Control Agency. She said,
“They (PLWHAs) are the ones who are currently bearing the brunt of the disease and we need to do whatever we can to care for them and address their needs.
And we will not just be providing palliative care, but we will continue to do everything possible to ensure that they live meaningful, healthy and productive lives.”
Erelu Fayemi urged the citizenry to go for HIV screening to determine their status before it became too late.
According to her, each of the 36 states of the federation was expected to meet a minimum HIV testing level of 80 per cent of their population, adding that Ekiti was yet to meet 10 per cent.
She reminded the beneficiaries that testing positive to HIV was not the end of life, but that such knowledge would enable the government to plan for them so that they could live as long as God had destined them.
The First Lady added, “HIV/AIDS is just like other illnesses; the problem is that there is a lot of stigma attached to it. We need to get over this, and this takes us to the fact that AIDS is real and anybody can have HIV/AIDS.”
Erelu Fayemi stressed the need to stop stigmatization of persons living with HIV/AIDS and treat them with empathy and respect.
She advised the beneficiaries to make good use of the empowerment materials to enable them to fend for themselves and their families.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the State Coordinator of NEPWAN, Alhaja Sola Agbaje, thanked the state government for sparing a thought for her members.
Alhaja Agbaje added that the gesture was the most comprehensive and most inclusive empowerment package ever extended to PLWHAs since the state was created.
Last modified: February 2, 2012