The National AIDS Secretariat (NAS) in collaboration with the District Health Management Team (DHMT) with funding from United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) has ended a three days training of thirty (30) Peripheral Health Unit staffs in the Kenema district on the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) OF HIV/AIDS and Paediatric care at the Diema Entertainment centre in Kenema city.
In his welcome address during the opening session, the District Medical Officer (DMO) Kenema Dr. Yankumba Madina Bah welcome all participants from the various Peripheral Health Units centres in the district saying that the current training is a continuation of the previous and that the number of participants is increasing graduation as the current one has targeted up to thirty from the 116 Peripheral Health Units in the district. He called on the participants to make the best use of the training as the issue of HIV/AIDS is not a new phenomenon in the country, emphasizing that the knowledge gain from the training will help reduce the rate of transmission of HIV/AIDS from Mother to Child in the country.
He appealed to them all to make judicious use of their knowledge in their various communities to the expectation of the community people.
In her statement the chairperson in charge of the health committee at the Kenema District Council (KDC) Madam Fatmata Dassama thanks the National AIDS Secretariat (NAS) and UNICEF for their positive role in complementing the effort of Kenema District Council in the health sector. She further stated that without such intervention many pregnant women will easily transfer the virus to their children during antenatal care. Madam Dassama said the training is not new but a continuation to strengthen the capacity of health workers in the district to protect pregnant women and unborn children from un ward transmission of HIV/AIDS.
The National Coordinator for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) at the National HIV/AIDS Secretariat in Freetown Madam Hossinatu Kanu disclosed that the program is sponsored by Unicef with the aim of reducing the transmission of HIV/AIDS from the Mother to the child yet unborn. She described the participants as fortunate to be part of the workshop adding that the aim of the training is to make sure that every pregnant woman is reach with PMTCT services and that the unborn child is safe from HIV/AIDS.
She expressed her profound gratitude to the DHMT and the HIV/AIDS counselors in the district for their relentless effort in seeking good health for the people in the various communities.
She said the workshop will include other important aspect such as Voluntary Confidential Counseling and Testing (VCCT), the administering of Anti Viral Drugs to people infected with HIV/AIDS and educational material on how to prevent the transmission of the diseases as well as care and support for people living with the disease.
In his contribution the Senior Monitoring and Evaluation (M and E) Officer at (NAS) Mr. Lamin Bangura said the intervention of the National Aids Secretariat and other partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS has helped a lot to stabilize the spread of the diseases in the country. He said the training of PHU staff and to equip them with the necessary logistic will go a long way in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country.
Other contributors during the workshop were the District HIV/AIDS Counselor Madam Gladys Gassama and the District Health Sister Sr. Hawa Daramy.