BORAMA–The National AIDS Commission has organized two training workshop for religious leaders on raising awareness on reducing the stigmatization of people living with HIV. The meeting was officially launched on Monday at Rays Hotel in Borama, Awdal’s provincial capital which saw the attendance of religious leaders from Awdal region. The mission behind the training workshop was aimed at urging the religious Imams to play a crucial role in raising awareness which intends the public to refrain from stigmatizing people living with AIDS. The religious leaders will be used as a vehicle of raising awareness against the prevention measures of the deadly novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19 pandemic.
The Director of Public Awareness of Somaliland National AIDS Commission, Muhyadin Yusuf Ibrahim, has formally opened the workshop by addressing the religious leaders that people living with HIV in all major townships in Somaliland come under attack by the public. He stressed that the religious imams could be vital in the fight against the reduction of the stigmatization targeting people living with AIDS. He encouraged the attendees to play a lions share in educating the public to stop the persistent physical and mental harm targeting with HIV positive community. He reiterated that Imams at mosques who conduct awareness raising on daily day prayers could be vital educating the public that this stigmatization against people living with AIDS must stop once and for all. He informed the Imams while being in charge of engagement ceremonies that they have address the two couples who are about to engage to test their blood samples for AIDS. Mr. Muhyadin has stressed that once we do so that a family is being saved which in turn means saving the community. He also narrated that if we do so that we shall have a healthy family.
On the other hand, he said that people living with HIV should be left behind but we have to search for another who also is positive so that they will produce healthy offspring. He added that people with HIV must be allowed to marry with another one who is positive. He warned that if we do not do that then that will have a negative impact on the healthy community as far as AIDS is concerned. The director in charge of public awareness for SOLNAC has further remarked in order that people living with HIV to save us from any harm, what we need to do is to take care of and assist them. Muhyadin has also said that people living with HIV are now vulnerable to contract COVID-19 as they are not able to defend from the virus due to weakened immune system.
Lastly, the coordinator for the religious and endowment ministry for Awdal region, Sheikh Hamud Latif Ahmed has also said that the objective of the gathering is to ponder and come up with the best way possible that these people can be assisted as this time around.