September 29, 2023 12:20 am

Domesticate Anti Stigma and Discrimination Law in Abia State, Ikocha, State Project Officer for CLM/GHR Project advises


A clarion call has again been sent to Abia State Government to instantly domesticate HIV Anti Stigma and Discrimination Law in the state.

Abia State Project Officer for CLM/GHR Project, Mr Whyte C Ikocha made the call while delivering paper during a 2 day Demand Creation and Awareness Workshop held in Umuahia, as contained in a press release made available to newsmen by Comrade John Emejor, State Director of Information.

According to the release, Ikocha declared when the law is domesticated in Abia State, it would go a long way to remove and eradicate all forms of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in the state.

Earlier in his speech, the State Coordinator of NEPWHAN Mr Michael Ogbonnaya, said the capacity building workshop was packaged to educate and enlighten people living will HIV/AlDS, key population, community leaders, servants of God, and other stakeholders to stand firm and ensure no one tramples on the rights of people living with HIV/ AIDS in their domains.

He tasked all participants to take the workshop serious, adding that community leaders and other stakeholders must prevail on the public not to stigmatize or discriminate people living with HIV/AIDS.

Delivering her lectures, the Legal Advisor, NEPWHAN, Barr ILiasu Rakiya, declared that government at all levels owe it as a duty to respect, promote and protect human rights of people living with HIV/ AIDS and other citizens of Nigeria.

In great details, Barr Rakiya marshalled out various forms of human rights abuses and violations people living with HIV/AIDS passed through in the hands of individuals and institutions.

Specifically, she  displayed how some health practitioners openly abuse/ violation Patient Bill of Rights. Such violations include; unlawful disclosure of the status of some patients living with HIV/ AIDS, refusing to treat them in the time of emergency, among several abuses.

She also frowned at individuals and institutions that discriminate and even deny people living with HIV/ AIDS the right to work.

Barr Rakiya reiterated that people living with HIV/AIDS should not hesitate to seek legal redress, whenever their human rights were abridged by any individual and institution.

In another paper, Barr Rakiya disclosed that NEPWHAN is leveraging on technology to ply their trade. Accordingly, this body has introduced iMonitor to aid NEPWHAN source real time data in her areas of operations.

Explaining further, iMonitor is a mobile app deploys to collect and report instantly, or real time, human rights violations and abuses.

In Abia State, 15 data collectors have been engaged by NEPWHAN with 6 other resource persons. NEPWHAN now covers activities mostly in two LGAs in the state, namely; Obingwa and Umuahia North.

Goodwill messages were received from SACA, Ministry of Health, Ministry of lnformation, NDLEA, key population among others.

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