Enga AIDS war goes rural

National, Normal

The National, Friday, June 10th 2011

HIV/AIDS service by the Enga provincial AIDS council will be extending into rural communities and villages to combat the spread of the disease.
Council response coordinator Ben Nema said the challenge now was for all stakeholders to mainstream the HIV response programme and drive rural-based schemes forward.
He said they were now focusing on educating and empowering the rural majority on HIV/AIDS so they could make in­formed decisions.
He said the council had embarked on the implementation of its working plan, which was based on the National HIV Strategy 2011-15 developed by the National AIDS Council.
He said Enga had the fifth highest number of people living with HIV in the country and was ranked third in the highlands.
Nema said HIV/AIDS had seized the province by infecting and affecting all sectors of the population.
He said HIV/AIDS had touched the lives of many people.
He said to tackle the spread of HIV/AIDS, the council had helped with the establishment of provincial AIDS committees.
He said the provincial government, under the leadership of Governor Peter Ipatas had honoured an agreement with it by allocating K100,000 annually and providing rental free office space, which was the central nerve centre of response programmes.
Nema said the council believed and encouraged a multi-sectoral, integra­ted, collaborative and com­­prehensive HIV/ AIDS response strategy that would respond to the epidemic effectively across all sectors of the community.
He said this had helped so far in the response to rising HIV/AIDS cases with over 100 people living with HIV/AIDS receiving the antiretroviral treatment.
The council has so far established six district AIDS committees to oversee district response programmes, six district theatre groups, 14 community-based care centres.