NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PASSES HIV/AIDS BILL

By Muhammad Bah
The Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Omar Sey, on Wednesday,Dr. Omar Sey, Minister of Health
19th March, presented a bill entitled HIV AND AIDS PREVENTION AND CONTROL BILL, 2015 to the National Assembly during a session held in Banjul.In reading it for the second and third times, the health minister said
the new Bill states that the ministers responsible for basic and
secondary education, higher education and health shall ensure that
students are educated on HIV and AIDS in public and private schools at
basic, secondary and higher levels, including formal, non-formal and
indigenous learning systems.
Mr. Sey said it shall be ensured that education and training courses
cover mode of transmission, prevention and other sexually transmitted
infections as well as human rights of the people living with HIV and
vulnerable groups.
Further dwelling on the Bill,  he said health care personnel shall ensure that
education and information on HIV and AIDS form part of the health
services that they render to their patients and that the ministry of
health shall ensure that health care personnel are appropriately
trained on information and education on HIV and AIDS.
On sensitization of HIV and AIDS in the work place, he said all
employees and members of the armed forces and security services shall
receive standard HIV and AIDS education which shall include themes on
the causes, modes of transmission and prevention of HIV and on
confidentiality at the work place and the acceptance of workers living
with HIV and AIDS.
The health minister said community education on HIV and AIDS shall be
launched, including the education of nationals abroad.
He said part of the Bill also requires the provision of information
for tourists and passengers on transit.
In his intervention, Hon. Ousman Bah of Sabach Sanjal, who seconded
the motion, commended the health ministry and said the bill is timely
and relevant in the fight against HIV and AIDS. He urged his
colleagues to pass the bill without hesitation.
Following some amendments, the Bill was eventually passed by the whole
committee of the house.