We have recorded huge success in HIV control ― Oyo health commissioner

The Commissioner for Health in Oyo State, Dr Bashir Bello, has stated that the state has recorded great achievements in the fight against the spread of HIV within the state, adding that more needs to be done by stakeholders to put an end to the spread of the disease through enlightenment and collaboration.
Dr Bello made this known during the sensitization programme held for local birth attendants in the state on prevention of HIV/AIDS in commemoration of the 2019 World AIDS day on Friday.

The programme put together by the Oyo State Ministry of Health in conjunction with APIN Public Health Initiatives to teach local birth attendants how to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDs in their patients held on the grounds of Elekuro High School in Ona Ara Local Government Area of the state with the theme ‘Communities make the difference – Rock the ribbon together.’

According to the health commissioner, HIV/AIDS is called a global health issue because it is not limited to a particular location and once an individual is infected, people around such person is not safe, reiterating the need to stop putting a stigma on victims.

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“This is why we are appealing to us not to put stigma on infected people; local birth attendants need to get adequate information on care of victims to prevent spread of infection.  You need to treat them well, educate them and not isolate them. We now live with deadly diseases and we can manage it better now with enlightenment.

“Most of our hospitals are equipped to take care of victims. Show them love, encourage them that it is not the end of life and take precautions to prevent spread. We thank our development partners like APIS that not only give drugs but help maintain our hospitals. I also want to emphasise the need for collaborative efforts to succeed in eradicating this endemic,” Dr Bello stated.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Oyo State Primary Health Board, Dr G. Olatunji, said the local birth attendants should take care of themselves as they are taking care of the pregnant women.

“As local birth attendants who are closer to the grassroots, you the people that can help us prevent the spread of the virus. Your job is a very delicate one, as you are protecting the pregnant women you are taking care of, you should protect yourself too,” he said

Speaking at the event, the Health Officer for Ona Ara Local Government, Dr Olukorede Ikunne, stated that groups and associations are important in the fight against the spread of HIV, not only in the local government area but in the state as a whole, adding that local birth attendants have an important role to play in order to put an end to the spread of HIV/AIDs.

The Executive Secretary of the State Action Committee on AIDS (SACA), Dr Lanre Abass, also noted that local birth attendants are important partners in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDs, adding that when a pregnant woman is adequately taken care of till delivery, it will minimise the risk of getting infected or spreading the virus.

“You know we have to be careful in order to prevent the spread of HIV because you deal with blood. Like we always say, a child can be infected at pregnancy or during delivery. As you take care of pregnant women, you need to know your status too so as to know how you will care for them,” he stated.

Also speaking, the representative of APIN Public Health Initiatives, Mrs Bola Thompson, stated that her organisation will continue to be partner with the local birth attendants to ensure that the virus is not being spread and urged them to always tell pregnant women and their families to go for test and they shouldn’t commence care until status of patients are ascertained.

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