2 December 2012

Nigeria: HIV Scourge - NUJ Laments Rivers Govt's Stand

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Rivers State chapter has lamented the refusal of the state government to step up effort to fight the dreaded HIV/AIDS in the state.

This is coming even as the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) called on the National Assembly and the 36 State Houses of Assembly to pass a law against stigmatisation, abuse, and discrimination of people living with the disease.

The Chairman of NUJ in the state, Comrade Opaka Dokubo, stated this while speaking at a media interactive session organised by the State Agency for the Control of AIDS (RIVSACA) to mark the 2012 World AIDS day in Port Harcourt.

Dokubo, who accused the state government of deliberately refusing to release funds to RIVSACA to enable the agency carry out its responsibilities, wondered why the battle against HIV/AIDS could be won without funds.

"The state government has not done well to fight the menace. The government has not released funds to the agency and we wonder how HIV/AIDS can be fought without funds. It is very wrong for the agency to continue to depend on international donors".

In a message to commemorate the 2012 World AIDS day, Chairman of the TUC in the state, Comrade Hyginus Chika Onuegbu decried the rise in discrimination and stigmatisation of people living with the dreaded virus in the country andcalled on religious organisations to urge their members to learn how to extend love and care to persons living with HIV/AIDS.

"We would like to use this opportunity to request government at all levels, religious organisations, communities and the general public to show love and care to persons living with HIV/AIDS rather than the current culture of discrimination, stigmatisation, abuse and all manner of ill-treatment against persons living with HIV/AIDS".

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