The National, Tuesday October 22nd, 2013
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
JIWAKA provincial AIDS council chairman Kuk Gola is calling on local MPs and the provincial government to support the organisation and others involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Gola said there was a critical need for his officers to go into rural areas and educate the people about the disease and minimise its spread.
He was speaking in Banz on Friday while accompanied by officers from the Kosem Ltd, a company engaged in the coffee industry appointed by the World Bank under its productive partnerships in agriculture project (PPAP) to carry out awareness.
He said during the awareness drive in Nondugl, Domil, Kugbal and Banz last week, it was pleasing to see people coming forward for voluntarily testing and counselling.
“This really shows that people in the remote areas want to know more about HIV/AIDS, know about their status and live a healthy life,” he said.
Gola said this was a first time a private sector, going out with HIV/AIDS testing kits to carry out testing voluntarily, had received overwhelming responses from the people.
“We need to reach people living in the remote areas like parts of Jimi and Kambia, to carry out similar awareness and voluntarily testing,” he said.
Gola said people living in remote areas found it hard to travel into towns and cities where voluntary testing and counselling centres were located.
He urged the three local MPs and the Jiwaka provincial government to help his office with funds and resources so people could be educated in the remote areas.
Gola said more than three new cases were recorded in the province each month and there was a need to stop the spread.
He thanked Kosem Ltd and WR Carpenters for assisting his office to carry out such an awareness.
National AIDS Council chairman Dr Banare Bun said sex and cultural practices in the Highlands provinces was a major factor in the increase in the rate of infection. He said polygamy fuelled the spread of the disease.