As First Lady Launches 4,000 Test Kits… HIV-AIDS and Syphilis War Heightens

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 Formally launching the test kits that would help eliminate mother-to-child transmission and reduce mother-to-child mortality, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Sia Nyama Koroma thanked the donor ALERE for the gesture, as according to her, the donation will go a long way in promoting maternal and new born health.

The launching of the duo kits was done at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Dworzak Community Health Centre in Freetown.

The First Lady described the event as a ground preparation for stringent testing, and encouraged her women folk to be ambassadors in engaging women in their different communities to take the test. The availability of the kits, the First Lady said is a great opportunity with confidentiality, and implored all women and their partners to make good use of it. Sexually transmitted diseases, she told her audience ignited HIV and Syphilis and can also affect the growth and development of the child.

 She spoke about some of the signs and symptoms and urged all women to take the necessary precaution. The President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Government of Sierra Leone, the First Lady opined cares for the survival, growth and development of the women and children in the country.

The WHO Country Representative, Dr. Anders Nordstrom reiterated his organization’s continued commitment towards rebuilding a resilient health system for Sierra Leone, describing the event as an important moment in the history of Sierra Leone health care delivery system. “It is good that we are able to diagnose syphilis because it is easy to treat”, the WHO Representative said. “It is disheartening to see our children suffering from HIV and AIDS especially now that we are starting a new life with the end of Ebola”. He told his audience.

The Director UNAIDS, Dr. Michael Brown admonished parents especially women not to expose their children to HIV and encouraged them to inculcate a culture of knowing their status by making use of the testing kits. “No woman should die giving birth”, Dr. Brown advocates.

The Director General, National AIDS Secretariat, Dr. Momodu Sesay underscored the importance of the Rapid Testing Kits and assured the First Lady, the donor ALERE, Logistics Solutions and Services Exclusive Distributor, Standard Diagnosis Sierra Leone and the audience of the judicious use and accountability of the testing kits.

Other highlights of the ceremony include presentation of baby packs by the Office of the First Lady and the Airtel Mobile Company.