Wednesday , June 29 2022

Organisations mark World AIDS Day

Several communitybased organisations ralliedup in an effort to show Saba’s continued solidarity in the fight against HIV and AIDS on World AIDS Day, Sunday, writes The Daily Herald . In preparation of World AIDS Day, Body, Mind and Spirit Foundation (BMSF) distributed red ribbons, information material, condoms and lubricants throughout the community. Commissioner of Health Bruce Zagers called on the entire community to take account of the island’s progress in combating the epidemic, giving an overview of the proactive steps taken in ensuring that the community does not slide back on its pledge to raise an AIDSfree generation. Commissioner Zagers called on residents to wear the red ribbon, which is the symbol of solidarity in the international effort to combat the infectious disease. He called on the community to combat discrimination against people living with HIV, and get informed and tested.

The Public Health Department and Saba Health Care Foundation (SHCF) also took steps to highlight World AIDS Day at A.M. Edwards Medical Centre in The Bottom. BMSF provided a large red-ribbon banner, which was displayed at the hospital, as well as banners calling on residents to use free, rapid HIV testing, confidentially available at the downstairs laboratory. The medical staff pledged to show their solidarity and care by wearing the ribbons for the entire month. BMSF also provided red ribbons to faith-based community leaders of all denominations for distribution during this weekend’s services.

Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM) student volunteers distributed ribbons among the student body and faculty this week. Student Lisa Smith offered her time and resources to create hundreds of ribbons that her fellow students later distributed, fundraising for educational materials targeting HIV/AIDS prevention on Saba.

Students at Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) also pledged to get informed, research the history of World AIDS Day and hold a school-wide morning-gathering presentation on AIDS awareness on the school compound in St. John’s. BMSF provided SCS student counsellor with a variety of informational materials that the youth can confidentially access while also receiving guidance on local resources. A three-hour informational World AIDS Day-themed television programme, developed by BMSF’s manager, is currently running on local television station Channel 15. The concept with both television programmes is to highlight how health and human rights issues are interconnected and relevant within the region and in daily life within a 13C: small community.
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