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Pharmacists seek end to stigmatization against PLWHA


Ahmed Yakasai

Pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have called on all Nigerians to check their health status, stop stigmatization against persons with Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), PLWHA, and show love to everyone.

President, PSN, Ahmed I. Yakasai, on the occasion of the World AIDS Day (WAD), said the right to health is the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This, he said, includes the right of everyone, including people living with and affected by HIV, to the prevention and treatment of ill health, to make decisions about one’s own health and to be treated with respect and dignity and without discrimination.

The theme for WAD 2017 is Right To Health. Yakasai, in a press statement, said everyone, regardless of who they are or where they live, has a right to health, which is also dependent on adequate sanitation and housing, nutritious food, healthy working conditions and access to justice.

He said the right to health is supported by, and linked to, a wider set of rights. Without the conditions to ensure access to justice, the right to a clean environment, the right to be free from violence or the right to education, for example, we cannot fulfill our right to health.

The pharmacist said ending AIDS as a public health threat can only happen if these rights are placed at the centre of global health, so that quality health care is available and accessible for everyone and leaves no one behind.

WAD, designated on 1 December every year since 1988, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health care providers, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on WAD.

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Ahmed I. YakasaPSN
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