By Jeremiah Urowayino
The Chairman of Delta State House of Assembly Committee on Health, Mr Austin Uroye, has called for an end to stigmatisation against People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).
Uroye spoke at a public hearing on the HIV-AIDS Anti-Discrimination and Protection Bill, which was organised by the state House of Assembly Committee on Health.
The committee Chairman, who emphasised the need for the passage of the bill, commended the turnout at the public hearing, saying that stigmatisation and discrimination have hampered the fight against the scourge in the society.
He noted that the bill is aimed at seeking a way forward in addressing the problem, stressing that there should not be any form of discrimination and stigmatisation against HIV/AIDS victims.
The lawmaker explained that HIV/AIDS epidemic is a problem that has come to stay, and that the immediate concern should be how those affected could live their normal lives.
He appreciated the participants for their contributions and promised that their inputs will be captured in the committee’s report on the bill.
The public hearing was attended by officials of the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency, the State Agency for the Control of HIV-AIDS and the Hospital Management Board.
Other attendees came from the Ministry of Justice and the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, amongst others.
The stakeholders proposed some amendments to the bill, saying that they regretted that stigmatisation had led some victims to serious depression and even death.