The Wife of Oyo State Governor, First Lady, Engr. (Mrs). Tamunominini Makinde has reaffirmed her commitment to the well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS, calling on World leaders to join hands with the State Government to promote policies geared towards the victims’ total healthiness.
Engr. Makinde, who Chairs Oyo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OYSACA) made the call today, while delivering an address during a rally to mark the 2021 World AIDS Day held at Agodi, Ibadan.
Mrs. Makinde who was represented by the Executive Secretary OYSACA, Dr. Lanre Abass while speaking at this year’s celebration tagged “End Inequalities, End AIDS, Through Sustainable Finance”, noted that it is high time political and world leaders keep to their promises.
“Tackling inequalities will advance the human rights of key populations and people living with HIV, make societies better prepared to beat Covid-19 and other pandemics and support economic recovery and stability.
Fulfilling the promise to tackle inequalities will save millions of lives and will benefit society as a whole, but it requires trans-formative change. Political economic and social policies need to protect the rights of everyone and pay attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized communities”, she said.
She opined that global inequalities affect everyone irrespective of ethnic group and geographical location, adding that without bold actions, the world risks missing the target to end AIDS by 2030 as highlighted by the United Nations on AIDS (UNAIDS).
She noted that the prolonged COVID-19 pandemics which have spiralled into social and economic crises across the globe are factors that should be looked into in tackling AIDS.
“Leaders must now move commitment to action and be bold to implement policies on inequalities. They must promote inclusive social and economic growth, discriminatory laws, policies and. practices must be eliminated in order to ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities. It is time for our leaders to keep their promises to act now.”
“So let us remind our leaders that global inequalities affect us all, no matter who we are or where we came from, let us come together to end inequalities, end AIDS and all other pandemics that thrive on inequalities.”
“And if the transformative measures needed on AIDS are not taken, the world will also stay trapped in Covid-19 crisis and be dangerously unprepared for the pandemics to come.”
“We can still end AIDS by 2030, but only if we act courageously as the transformation approach that we need to end AIDS will also protect the world against future pandemics”, she said.
She then appealed to citizens of the State to avail themselves the opportunity of getting tested which is free throughout the world, in order for them to know their status.
“The reason being that if one is positive, it is not a death sentence. Treatment is free, drugs are free and are accessible in numbers of our Primary and Secondary Healthcare Centers; about Twenty-two across the State.”
She however said, “And if you are negative, then you continue to do those things that you have been doing that have kept you negative”.
Wasiu Olatunbosun (Ph.D),
Oyo State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.