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2000 AIDS Carriers Get Free Treatments - Liberian Daily Observer

The Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of COBEC on STI's/ HIV/AIDS, Stanley K. Saiwhean, has revealed that since 2003, his organization has provided free treatments to about 2,000 HIV/AID patients.

The COBEC boss, who once served as a Surgeon General of the Armed Forces of Liberia(AFL) told the Daily Observer over the weekend that the COBEC Health Center has also provided free psychosocial counseling and nutritional care to diagnosed and neglected HIV/AIDS victims as well as patients of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The COBEC CEO made these assertions at the end of a two-month sensitization and awareness campaign of the importance of HIV/AIDS Home Based Care (HBC) Program and the role of the Community in HBC as well as the rights of People Living with HI/AIDS in the Community, in Central Caldwell, over the weekend.

The Commissioner of the 65,000 populated Caldwell Township, Madam Sarah Berian, during the official launch of the HBC in the area over the weekend praised the program organizers.

The commissioner particularly praised its organizer, Community Based Education and Counseling (COBEC).

The Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of COBEC on STI's/ HIV/AIDS, Stanley K. Saiwhean, had been lauded for establishing the free HIV/AIDS Health Center in Caldwell.
Commissioner Berian, on behalf of the Council of elders, chiefs and the citizenry of Caldwell, promised to help COBEC in its sensitization of the people against stigmatization and discrimination against people living with the dreaded disease.

She added that the locals would also be sensitized to cater to bed-ridden HIV/AIDS patients and confidentially report them to COBEC.

“On behalf of the people of Caldwell, we want to give COBEC our commitment in supporting this HIV/AIDS program. We also want to assure COBEC of our support in closely working with it to take care of bed-ridden HIV/AIDS patients,” Commissioner Berian asserted.

In an interview with this paper shortly after the program, Mr. Saiwhean said, the COBEC-HIV/AIDS Home Base Care Program would include care-taking of HIV/AIDS patients who were unable to acquire treatments by themselves.

“For the past weeks, we have sensitized the people of Caldwell about the importance of Home Based Care (HBC) and HIV/AIDS Testing and Counseling as well as the role of the community in HBC and the rights of people living with the deadly virus.

“Today marks the climax of the HBC campaign and we expect to receive cooperation from the community against stigmatization, discrimination and the care-taking of bed-ridden HIV/AIDS patients,” Mr. Saiwhean said.

The COBEC boss also encouraged diagnosed and neglected HIV/AIDS victims as well as patients of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to visit COBEC for free treatments, psychosocial counseling and nutritional care..

Mr. Saiwhean divulged that his health center, which is located in Upper Caldwell, caters to about 35 STI/ HIV/AIDS patients, predominantly females, on weekly basis.

He added that the ages of the patients range from 18 to 50.

He appealed to other victims of STIs/HIV/AIDS to come to COBEC and experience a 'new life worth living.'

“The primary goal of COBEC-AIDS Incorporated is to contribute towards the reduction of the prevalence of STIs/HIV/AIDS in the country and to enhance the Management of Opportunistic Infections (MOI) among the young and the old,” he disclosed.

He added that his medical outfit has been involved in the program since 2003.

“Since 2003, we have been involved in paliative care and transit of STIs/HIV/AIDS victims and providing agricultural and nutritional support, voluntary confidential counseling and testing, home-based care, community mobilization, sensitization and awareness, as well as health education and clinical diagnosis and treatment,” Mr. Saiwhean averred.

“We also want to use this opportunity to appeal to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to recognize the effort in catering for people of Liberia living with STIs/HIV/AIDS by requesting the country's support partners to assist us.

“We need drugs and medical supplies, food for nutritional support, ambulance and vehicle for routine activities and other logistics for the upkeep of our health center,” the retired and former Surgeon General of the AFL said.

COBEC-AIDs, Incorporated, since 2003, has catered to 2,000 affected HIV/AIDS patients free of charge.

Presently, it is providing free treatments from a fund given by Brystol Myers Squibb, Secure the Future Foundation, based in South Africa, with headquarters in the United States of America (USA).

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