HIV/AIDS: Centre campaigns against stigmatisation of victims
Murjanatu Abdullahi, Kaduna
As part of the one month activity to celebrate world international HIV/ Aids day, the chair person of a Non-governmental organization Peace Ambassadors advocacy to protect the right of children, women, orphans and widows in Nigeria. Deborah Labari has called on all Nigerians to shun all forms of stigmatisation, discrimination or differences among person living with the HIV AIDS virus in the country.
She made this known in Kaduna saying, “despite all efforts by Federal government, States, Humanitarian NGO and concerned civil societies in Nigeria with faith base organization which is toward raising more campaigns and awareness against the spread of the virus.”
There are still some people that stigmatizes women and children in both rural and urbans areas across the country
She noted that there are so many harmful effects associated with stigma and discrimination of person living with the virus which include :
“feelings of shame, hopelessness and isolation, reluctance to ask for help, lack of understanding by family or friends, lack of opportunities for employment Among others.”
“Stressing on the need for all Nigerians to stop discriminating against person living with the Virus simply because that has violet their right.”
While calling on Nigerian both home and abroad to Learn how to talk openly about HIV and stigma in a way that can help empower those living with HIV.
Labari emphasized on the need for couples to be tested medically before marriage so as to avoid having childrens with the virus.
She added that “If each of us is committed toward making positive changes in our families and communities, we can help end HIV stigma and work to stop HIV together.”
She said there are many babies with the virus today simply because of parents refusal to go for medical text before they married, while some hide their identity.
Urging citizens to equally Avoid stigmatising people with mental illness by seeing the person in that person first and not labelling them by their mental illness.
According to her, You can help challenge stigma by speaking up when you hear people around you make negative or wrong comments about mental illness,or discrimination againt person living with HIv/Aid.
Similarly some faith base organization in the country has embarked on visiting some schools in the metropolis with the aims of sensitizing students on dangers of stigma and religious ways to halt discriminating against person living with the virus
Pastor Yohanna Buru, the national president Peace revival and reconciliation foundation of Nigerian said, every year he organizes team of volunteer-Muslims and Christians scholars to visit schools and sensitizes the students on harmful effect of stigma and discrimination againt person living with all kind of diseases.
Saying all religions has condemn all forms of stigmatisation and discrimination against mankind especially person living with HIV/AID. Stressing that every sick person need healing not hatred or discrimination.
Buru make the called when he visited a kaduna based school, which is part of his annually visit to mark Aid day
He then called on religious leaders to redouble their efforts toward sensitizing the general public on religious guide toward tackling stigma,hatred and discrimination against any person living with all kind of diseases.