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Sierra Leone News: First Lady schooled on HIV/AIDS

In the company of the UNAIDS, Country Director in Sierra Leone, First Lady, Fatima Bio, on Monday 27th August 2018, paid a visit to staff and children of Happy Kids and Adolescents, on Fourah Bay Road.
The objective of the visit was to get firsthand information on children and adolescents living with HIV/AIDS. “I have come. I will listen and hope to learn a lot, and will want to work with you,” said Fatima Bio as she was welcomed by Project Officer, Wahab Kamara.
Kamara said they are working on family counseling and voluntary testing, as a way of encouraging more people to know their status and to also have knowledge on how to care and show love to infected or affected persons instead of stigmatizing them.
Two representatives, from UNICEF and UNAIDS explained to the first lady the role both organizations are playing to assist HAPPY KIDS, which is one of over 40 support group associations providing services to vulnerable persons, but dealing specifically with children.
Wilhelmina Bah is the Western Area Coordinator for NETHIPS an Organization that caters for adult infected persons, said, “Despite people’s situation, they deserve respect and dignity, citing that HIV/AIDS is a preventable disease, like any other preventable diseases”. She said running out of drugs and test kits is a problem for health facilities.
Mariama Dawoh will take this year’s WASCE and has been supported for over 10 years. She appealed to Fatima Bio for support for children and adolescents living with HIV/AIDS, especially in education.
“I have no information or notes about figures and statistics on HIV/AIDS in Sierra Leone, but I hope my visit here is a beginning of a new chapter to address the many challenges at hand,” the First Lady said. Fatima Bio said there is no way a committed Government would ignore the plight of infected and affected persons, especially the children and orphans.
AC/27/8/18
By Ade Campbell
Tuesday August 28, 2018.

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