AVOID STIGMATIZATION AND DISCRIMINATION ON HIV PATIENTS – DR NYUNOKO BADDO
A medical Practitioner and Staff from the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Nyunoko Baddo has advice the general public most especially families living with HIV patients to avoid stigmatization and discrimination in order for them not to feel exempted.
She said this at a seminar she chaired held by the Ophthalmic Nursing School at the Korle-bu teaching hospital, under the theme, “Discrimination and stigmatization related to HIV /AIDS and the manifestation of the infection on the eye”.
The chairperson said, the right of every HIV patient is to say no to any inhuman act towards them most especially in relationships.
Moreover “stigmatization and discrimination related to HIV and AIDS is a persistent problem in many health sectors around the world particularly in countries hardest hit by the epidemic.
This results in poor quality of care for those who are infected, frightening potential client in need of HIV related service from seeking care and undermine precaution efforts by limiting access and utilization”.
The purpose of the seminar was to educate, increase and create awareness to halt the kind of attitude people portray towards persons infected with HIV and AIDS, hence making them feel rejected in our society. Other notable persons present at the event also shared their views during the program.
Mrs Hagar Ackah, an 18years survived HIV infected patient, who shared her experience at the program revealed how she was neglected, mishandled and even given less attention at the hospital all in the name of being an HIV patient.
“A nurse can waste time to call other colleagues to come and have a look at team of HIV patients instead of attending to them”. She said.
A medical practitioner, a member of the Ghana Health Service and an Eye specialist, Dr. Vera Beyuo, also urged the general public not to maltreat nor reject persons with the HIV/ AIDS virus, rather we should draw them nearer because the virus is not attracted through handshake, hugs or any other sort; therefore the need to avoid stigmatization and discrimination.
Kumawood actor, Kofi Abraham Davis popularly known as Salinko also gave out his view advising the general public to show love, care, and much concern to persons with the HIV/ AIDS virus, to give them hope and a sense of belonging in the society.
The seminar organised by the Ophthalmic Nursing School level 400 students was graced by some public service personnel like the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Fire Service, representatives from the Ghana Health Service amongst others.