June 9, 2009

Lagos already tackling HIV/AIDS challenges — Fashola

By Etop Ekanem
GOVERNOR Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has said that the state government has made policies and implemented programmes that deal frontally with the HIV/AIDS challenges.

He made this disclosure, Monday, in an address read on his behalf by Rev. (Dr) Akintoye Braimoh, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Christian Religion on the occasion of the opening of the African Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Regional Training Institute at the Eko Tourist Beach Resort, Akodo, Lagos with the theme: “African women creating safe and secure communities enhancing the capacity of YWCAs to strengthen the response to HIV and AIDS and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and violence against women.”

According to the Governor, “Apart from making health free for our mothers and children in all our hospitals where quality treatment are offered to patients, we have created the relevant agency that is attached to the office of the governor. Besides enacting and enforcing the relevant laws dealing with violence, we have also gone ahead to empower the women by financing their small scale businesses under our Micro-Finance scheme.”

Also, wife of the state governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, in her address on the occasion which was read by Mrs Ngozi Akabueze, wife of the state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, said:  “Today women are faced with various challenges ranging from HIV/AIDS, poverty, ignorance, gender inequality, cancer, maternal mortality among others. All these have to a large extend continue to limit the capacity of women to contribute to the success of development particularly in Africa.”

“We’re hosting a very rich event,” said Lady Comfort Ani, World YWCA Board member and National President of the YWCA of Nigeria. “One that is bringing together 150 YWCA leaders from 31 African countries, the African Union and various partners.”

The week-long training institute which started on June 7 will end on June 13, 2009.