The Wife of Edo Governor, Mrs Bettsy Obaseki has urged Nigerians to continue supporting and caring for the People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA) and avoid stigmatizing them.
Mrs Obaseki gave the advice in Benin while delivering a keynote address during the distribution of income generating equipment to PLWA in Edo on Thursday.
Obaseki said the society will be a better place if the less privileged are catered for and respected.
She commended the courage and confidence of the PLWA in the state, noting that “nobody needs to die from their condition as science and technology have provided treatment measures”.
The governor’s wife assured PLWA of good life and government’s support, adding that the state had domesticated the anti-stigma law to protect their rights.
She also commended the Edo Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (EDOSACA),NGOs concerned with HIV/AIDS activities and implementing partners for ensuring reduction in the prevalence rate of the disease in the state from 5.9 per cent in 1999 to 4.1 per cent in 2014.
Mrs Obaseki assured them of the state government’s support to get zero prevalence rate of the condition in the state.
She said the materials presented reaffirmed the present administration’s support for job creation and empowerment of the people in the state.s.
She urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the equipment and ensure their durability.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Philip Shuaibu, said the present state government is committed to improving the well being of people in the state.
He also assured of the willingness of the state government to sustain the HIV/AIDS intervention programme, should donor agencies back out.
The Project Manager of EDOSACA, Mrs Marietu Binkola said the HIV/AIDS intervention programme, tagged (HPDP 11) will terminate by the end of February and called on the state government to claim ownership of the programme.
According to her, the equipment distributed are 60 sewing machines, 90 grinding machines and 30 hair dryers,adding that they were donated by the World Bank in collaboration with the state government.
The various partners and NGOs involved in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDs commended the state government for the donation.
They expressed optimism that the equipment will go a long way in assisting the beneficiaries, especially in the current economic recession.