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HIV testing and counseling sesson

Spiritualists mislead HIV/AIDS patients- Senior nurse

A senior Nurse at the Reproductive and Child Health Unit of the Upper East Regional Hospital Bolgatanga, Lucy Otu has expressed concern over what she referred to as a threat to the fight against HIV/AIDS free world; peoples’ belief that there is a supernatural cure for HIV/AIDS and called on religious leaders who propagate this belief to consider the dire consequences of same on their followers.

Leading the team of medical officers who offered free HIV/AIDS counseling and testing during the 2018 World AIDS Day commemoration in Bolgatanga, Mrs. Otu expressed worry at the manner in which people who test positive to the pandemic misleadingly reject medical support on the basis of their religious beliefs.

She shockingly revealed that several people living with HIV/AIDS are left helpless in the abundance of adequate medical solutions available for them mainly because they are assured by some self-styled spiritualists of supernatural cure.

“You see, when people come to us, we take them through the professional procedures of counseling and testing. When one’s result turns out positive, it’s our duty to immediately recommend and put the person on Anti Retro-Viral (ARV) medication. However, some people who test positive to the HIV/AIDS blatantly reject our test results and the recommendations we offer to them. Ask why, and they will tell you their faith doesn’t tell them so. You will marvel to hear people saying things like:” “I can’t have AIDS. My spiritual father [referring to a mallam, pastor or fetish priest] would have seen and revealed to me if I’m indeed infected with HIV”. She narrated.

Mrs. Otu recalled her recent encounter with a pregnant woman who tested positive to HIV. The woman in question out-rightly refused the ARVs. Saying; she had no need for medication but believed that her spiritual head was capable of healing her of the pandemic; putting her unborn baby at the risk of being infected.

The over 2 decades experienced nurse cautioned that such actions or decisions could lead to the continuous prevalence of the world canker, marking a deviation of where we are heading as a nation. She further advised the general public to be responsible for their own health and wellbeing by taking advantage of the HIV/AIDS counseling and testing units available in all health facilities nationwide.

She also called on the leaders of the various religious organizations to help address this misleading phenomena; whiles reaffirming their commitment as health workers to work towards achieving the world goal of having no new HIV infections by the year 2030.

Source:TopNews Ghana.com|Ghana|Paul Fordjour

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