The International Labor Organization (ILO) with funding from United Nations AIDS and in partnership with the Ministry of Labor (MOL) and National AIDS Commission (NAC), has donated food, hand sanitizer, and chlora to various HIV networks across Montserrado County.
Those HIV network groups that received the donation included LipNet (Light Association and Eye Association), Serena Health For All Mobile Clinics, and Save Vulnerable Liberia Incorporated.
The items donated were 288 bottles of sanitizers, 150 bags of rice, 200 gallons of Chlora and 100 buckets with faucets.
Speaking during the donation program in Monrovia recently, Salif A. Massalay, ILO Country Representative, said every year funding comes from a global fund on HIV programs that benefits all of the networks on AIDS-related issues.
Massalay said due to COVID19 virus, part of the mandate of ILO is to ensure social protection for everybody mainly those who are vulnerable. They are donating the items to those networks for onward distribution to its members.
He urged the organization to make sure that everybody within their various institutions benefit from the donation of ILO and must sign for assorted items.
Minister Phil T. Dixon, who spoke on behalf of the Ministry of Labor, said the responsibility of the ministry on HIV is to reduce the stigma on people living with the virus. According to him, having HIV/AIDS does not mean that the person did something wrong, although ninety percent of the HIV infections are done through sexual intercourse.
Minister Dixon said people should realize that HIV/AIDS should not take away the dignity and respect of any individual. He appreciated UNAIDS for identifying with Liberians of the HIV network to give them assorted items for their members and urged the organization to carry on their regular activities despite pandemic.
Zubah Mulbah, National AIDS Partnership Coordinator, thanked the ILO and MOL for thinking about the HIV networks during the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed the Commission’s gratitude for the kind gesture from partners.
Jojo Bahsah, a beneficiary, appreciated International Labor Organization and UNAIDS for their thoughtfulness towards people living with HIV/AIDS. He said it is no secret that COVID-19 has a huge impact on people living with HIV/AIDS because it deals with the immune system that renders them vulnerable during the pandemic.