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Firm cautions employees against stigmatisation of persons with HIV

By Stanley Akpunonu
05 December 2019   |   3:32 am
As part of the effort towards the commemoration of the World AIDS Day, the management of Flour Mills Nigeria (FMN) Plc has cautioned its employees about their lifestyles in discriminating and stigmatisatising at the workplace

As part of the effort towards the commemoration of the World AIDS Day, the management of Flour Mills Nigeria (FMN) Plc has cautioned its employees about their lifestyles in discriminating and stigmatisatising at the workplace in anticipation of supporting victims with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) if needs arises.

The Group Managing Director, FMN, Paul Miyonmide Gbededo, gave the charge during the company’s marking of 2019 World Aids Day in Lagos, where he implored workers in the organisation to know their HIV status considering the current state of the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic in the country. Gbededo explained that the awareness about the scourge of HIV /AIDS in Nigeria’s environment is very germane and critical, saying that the world has committed to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the sustainable development goals, with Nigeria ready to play a key role towards achieving this laudable objective.

He said, “I have always believed that when we work together, we can achieve great success. It is essential to note that there is a part for individual and collective actions in the fight against HIV/AIDS. You can start by availing yourselves with information on the causative and preventive measure to take against the virus and other sexually transmitted infections.”

The GMD explained that according to the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, in 35 per cent of countries with available data, over 50 per cent of people report having discriminatory attitudes towards people living with the virus, adding the because of stigma and discrimination, roughly one in eight people living with HIV are being denied health services.

“We are all aware of the stigma and the negative perception surrounding people living with HIV / AIDS in our community. To make progress, we must be determined to individually and collectively stand against such discrimination and speak up for our brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours who are living with the disease around us.

“Remember that we have a workplace policy on non-discrimination in FMN. I can assure you that our employees will not suffer any form of stigmatisation or discrimination. Instead, they will get the right kind of support needed to help them live meaningful lives.

“The management will continue to ensure that employees have access to the right medical care when the need arises. We are working with the Society for Family Health to set up screening and counseling centres across our facilities,” he added.