HIV/AIDS: Shell moves to check scourge in N-Delta
HIV/AIDS: Shell moves to check scourge in N-Delta Written by George Onah Thursday, 02 April 2009
Carried out under the auspices of the Gbaran Ubie Oil and Gas project, Bayelsa State, the company said it has over 6,000 workers (who are mobile men with money), working in 96 communities, with a population of at least 160,000.
In an interactive session with the media in Port Harcourt yesterday, Manager, Regional Community Health, Dr. Tunde Fakunle, said out of the 20 million population of the South-South region, about 1.2 million people were infected with the virus.
Fakunle said the spread of the disease was capable of causing a decline in productivity, hence the need to “promote comprehensive prevention, increase access to quality care and treatment as well as combat stigmatization and discrimination.
“AIDS in the community and country leads to increased costs of production, declining productivity and declining profits. We don’t want HIV/AIDS to kill our business, ravage our community and people. “Again if the scourge is not properly checked, oil and gas boom may spell the HIV/AIDS doom. As a result, we want to minimize economic impact of the scourge because the disease is more than a health problem,” Fakunle said.
In retrospect, he said about 33.2 million people were living with the disease across the world, adding that 90 per cent of the figure was in Sub-Saharan Africa, with 4.4 percent of Nigeria ’s population living with HIV/AIDS.
According to him, Nigeria is second to South Africa in terms of the infection of the scourge.
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