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In Sierra Leone 1.5 Million People Affected With HIV/AIDS

In Sierra Leone 1.5 Million People Affected With HIV/AIDS

Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Health and Sanitation, Hon. Moses Brima Jokie (in photo) representing Constituency 091 Bonthe District has expressed dissatisfaction over the alarming rate of 1.5 Million people affected by HIV/Aids in the country on the “Theme: Making Justice Accessible to All”.

He made that statement during a one- day sensitization workshop for three Committee Members of Parliament including Committee on Health and Sanitation, Committee on Legislative and Committee on Human Right organized by the Legal Aid Board alongside the National Aids Secretariat at Committee Room (1) Parliament Building, at OAU Drive Tower Hill, in Freetown, on Wednesday 11th July 2018.

In an exclusive interview, Hon. Moses Brima Jokie noted that; the rationale behind the workshop is to better inform Members of Parliament (MPs) about the prevalence rates of HIV so as to enhance Members of Parliament to make suitable Laws that will help the people of Sierra Leone in minimizing the prevalence of HIV/Aids as well as helping to promote and sensitize their people about the disease. As health is wealth he said it is unnecessary this time around for hiding HIV/ Aids as diseases adding that, if we continue hiding the disease  it will continue to create more negative impacts and more burdens on the country’s population growth as the rate is increasing.

He added that despite everyone has not been tested for HIV/Aids, which he believes that; the rate is over the 1.5 M which is a serious and worrisome problem. He further indoctrinated the spirit of awareness in everyone. Chairman Moses Jokie continues by stating that; even though some people are fully aware of having the disease but yet they continuously spreading the disease.

He called on his colleagues to continue to sensitize their people and putting measures in place not to hide the disease from the public. The Legislature cited that the Ebola epidemic disease was collectively fought as a result of been public particularly when people were able to identify themselves as negative or positive patients.

The MP further blamed the authorities concern owing to the fact that drugs are not timely dispensed by the potters for the consumption of HIV/Aids patients but rather demanding monies till the drugs become demurral or decided to smuggle them to neighboring countries instead of making them available or affordable.  He called on other Committee Chairmen to summoned those authorities like Bolorie’, and National Revenue Authority (NRA) among others to better explain as to why the delay of the distribution of HIV/Aids drugs to patients especially when one is effected everyone is affected he said.

Executive Director of Legal Aid Board Sierra Leone, MS Carton Hanciles noted that the 1.5M HIV/Aids effected population has created serious alarm which Members of Parliament needed to help push forward the sensitization campaign at their various constituencies. She added that; her organization has been fourth in the interest of HIV/Aids effected persons over the years as there is need to forester the sensitization campaign education as many disbelievers denied the reality of HIV/Aids. She maintained that; HIV/Aids should no longer be a shameful thing for people to come out to know about their status through support enhancements from Members of Parliament. She added.

His predecessor Hon. Dr. Abdulai B. Sesay representing Constituency 052 in Gbonkolenken Chiefdom commended Legal Aid Board as the training is in the right direction and called on the review of the 2011, Act of HIV/ Aids as well as the eleven thousand people that are presently on treatment to abstain from spreading the disease to the innocence. He urges the continuous efforts of education and also appeal for the timely release of HIV/Aids drugs as well as malaria, fever among other drugs adding that; government should conduct a survey to tackle down the correct prevalence of the disease he concluded.

By: Mohamed Y. Turay

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