BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar.
As part of incentives to encourage the health and productivity of council staff, Bakassi Local Government Council has concluded plans to introduce free monthly medical checkup, Council Chairman, Hon. Iyadim A. Iyadim, has disclosed.
The Chairman Hon Iyadim Amboni Iyadim, disclosed this when he received officials of the Local Action Committee On AIDS LACA and Family Health Initiative FHI 360 during a courtesy call in his office.
He explained that healt matters are very important to the council so as to enable it achieve its visions and dreams.
The check-up will cover high and low blood pressures , HIV/AIDS, eye test, malaria and typhoid amongst others which in one way or the other can impede productivity, he further added.
” We are determined to bring change and development as well as change the narratives in order to reposition Bakassi Local Government Area and one of the first approaches is to ensure the work force of the council is healthy and virile, he said”.
He noted that though things are on ground, the proposal may not succeed if the council does not partner donor agencies ,NGOs and other health institutions to fight HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases
The Chairman promised that Bakassi, which a neglected LGA, will work assiduously to take its place among other councils, adding that the introduction of free medical checkup in the council will ginger staff to put in their best for its success
Earlier, the Clinician Counselor, FHI 360 in Cross River State, Mrs Patricia Asuquo , said HiV/ AIDS is preventable and controllable as it is no longer a death sentence, explaining that patients are now placed on drugs and if they receive treatment constantly , they can survive it
She enjoined churches, chemists and traditional institutions to follow suit in the war against HIV/AIDS as well as the stigmatization of those living with HIV/AIDS , stressing that lives of victims can be prolonged if they adhere strictly to treatment
The LACA Coordinator for Bakassi LGA, Mrs Tom Christiana Okon , in her presentation which covers from January to August ,2020, HIV/AIDS affects every segment of the labor force and imposes huge costs on all sectors through delivery productivity, adding that it also affects the fundamental rights , particularly with respect to stigmatization aimed at people living with HIV/AIDS
According to Tom, the prevalent rate of HIV/AIDS in Cross River State as at 2019 , according to the National AIDS indicator survey is two percent
She listed the support groups of people living with AIDS in Bakassi to include Ekpiri Obutong support group, Esuk Anasa support group, Ifiang Ayong support group, Action Hope support group and Living Hope support group but, however, mentioned challenges to include lack of office accommodation, lack of HIV/ AIDS test kits and condoms and no funds.