Bayelsa State government has reaffirmed its commitment to the wellbeing of people living with HIV/AIDS, saying it has made several approvals for their welfare.
Governor Seriake Dickson stated this at a charity football match between the Creek Haven Young Stars and Creek Haven All Stars to mark the 2012 World HIV/AIDS Day at Gloryland Castle field in Government House, Yenagoa.
As part of measures geared towards alleviating the plight of HIV/AIDS victims, Hon. Dickson said government has approved stipends that would be disbursed to them through the State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (BYSACA) on a regular basis.
In demonstration of its seriousness to the fight against the scourge, the Governor noted that his administration was set to purchase test kits as well as intensify efforts at creating awareness about the disease.
According to him, the football event was part of efforts at sensitizing the people on the dangers of HIV/AIDS and expressed concern over the high prevalence rate of the pandemic.
While thanking the organisers of the event for their support, Governor Dickson pointed out that government would continue to use sports as one of the instruments to promote healthy living.
Speaking, Chairman of the occasion, General Owoye Azazi (Rtd) commended the state government for its show of concern for persons living with HIV/AIDS and stressed the need for more campaigns against stigmatization.
In his remarks, the state Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Rtd) encouraged the victims not to despair as their current condition does not mean the end of their lives.
Also speaking, former Super Eagles Coach, Mr. Samson Siasia called for more help for HIV/AIDS victims and concerted efforts to encourage prevention of the disease.
The charity football match, which was keenly contested ended 2 – 1 in favour of the Creek Haven Young Stars.