Gov’t urged to avail funds to AIDS Commission
By: Elia Joseph Loful
As South Sudan marks the commemoration for World AIDS Day, the Chairperson of South Sudan HIV/AIDS Commission Dr. Esterina Novello Nyilok has called on the government to allocate more funds to the commission.
Speaking at the event yesterday to commemorate World AIDS Day in Juba, Dr. Novello said, “It has been a challenge for this country especially the 2013 crisis has really affected the service delivery for HIV intervention.”
“What we are getting from the government does not meet needs for the intervention,” she disclosed.
The event was marked under the theme: “Recognizing the role of the communities in the fight against HIV in South Sudan.”
It was organized by South Sudan HIV/ AIDS Commission in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
She said the 20 million SSP that is always given by the government to the commission did not cover the necessary service delivery.
“What we are getting from the government is about 20 million SSP for the whole one year that is just like a drop of water in an ocean. This helps only in paying salaries of the staff but when it comes to programs intervention it is never enough,” Dr. Novello said.
She urged the government through the Ministry of Finance to revise the decision of supporting the institution if we are to meet the international vision of ending the HIV/AIDS.
She said HIV was a national concern where people should work hard to prevent new infections.
Dr. Samson Baba the Advisor to the Ministry of Health warned people against discriminating those who are living with virus.
“I call on the people never to discriminate people living with HIV/AIDS, remember the destiny of your life is in your hands,” Baba warned.
He revealed that 44 percent of the population in the country has access to health services, adding that there were 190,000 people living HIV in the country.
Baba urged the public to be responsible and considerate in their behaviors towards young girls stressing that they should be given time to study instead of abusing them sexually.
Chris Issa Gordon, the prevention program officer for South Sudan AIDS Commission said the initiative of condomize campaign program coincided with commemoration of this year World AIDS Day aimed at reducing the stigma on use of condom in South Sudan.
“Our objective of this condomize campaign is nothing other than to reduce the stigma of condom use in South Sudan,” Gordon explained.