Lack of equal access to health services prolongs war against HIV/Aids

04Dec 2021
By Guardian Reporter
Zanzibar
The Guardian
Lack of equal access to health services prolongs war against HIV/Aids

​​​​​​​ZANZIBAR First Vice President, Othman Masoud Othman has said lack of equality in accessing to health services to people living with HIV contributes to the continual existence of the disease in the country.

Zanzibar First Vice President, Othman Masoud Othman.

Othman made the remarks on Wednesday in South Unguja region at the apex of the commemoration of World’s Aids Day.

He said without the government and the community making special joint efforts to make sure all HIV/Aids sufferers get equal medical treatment, the country, and the entire world in general will not succeed to eradicate the disease by 2030.

He said as for now the world has stressed in making sure all nations join together in strengthening the availability of health services to all.

However, the First Vice President said statistics show that Zanzibar has made great achieves in reducing new HIV infections from 366 cases in 2010 to 177 this year and called on the people to continue taking more precautions against the disease.

He also warned the community that despite the achievements, the situation on HIV infections in Zanzibar was not good in regard to vulnerable groups and that these need to be accorded priority.

He said statistics show that only 48 per cent of people using illicit drugs through injections recognize their HIV statuses, while 60 per cent of men engaged in sexual acts recognize themselves as living with HIV.

For his part Unguja South Regional Commissioner, Rashid Hadid Rashid said despite national statistics showing reduction of HIV/Aids prevalence, but the situation in regard to HIV infections in the region was not good as the region’s Central District leads in new infections.

For her part, Saada Mkuya Salum, Minister of State in the First Vice President’s Office said the Zanzibar Government, through the Zanzibar Commission of HIV/Aids and various stakeholders were revising policies and strategies in the fight against the disease.

She said that the Central district is an area with fast new HIV infections due to the existence of many factors, hence, he added, special efforts were needed to save the community from the scourge.

For his part, UNAIDS Representative in Zanzibar, Dr George Loy praised the Zanzibar government for its great efforts against the disease and called on for more steps to attain the needed achievements.

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