CCHS Lae commemorates World Aids Day
Lae, Morobe Province: Every year on World AIDS Day, Catholic Church Health Services staff and their patients around the country commemorate the day with dedication mess followed by awareness and Voluntary HIV Testing.
Bishop of Lae Diocese, Bishop Rozario Menezes commemorated the day with Lae’s Center of Mercy (COM) health center’s staff, patients and the surrounding community based on the theme: " Pinisim HIV: Wankain Luksave, Nek bilong yumi."
During the speeches, a mother living with HIV stepped forward and thanked all the health workers at the COM health center for their hard work and constant support to people living with HIV.
Living with HIV for the past 11 years, she is a proud mother to two healthy and HIV free children. The COM clinic has been able to register 85 negative babies born to 52 positive mothers since 2013.
She shared with the people present on how the Anti-Retroviral therapy (ART) helped her to live a normal life and start a family.
Health Integration Officer for Lae Catholic Church Health Services Samantha Tirang said that the story of this mother touched and encouraged a lot of people including other patients to come forward and get help.
“Our statistics show that since 2013, we have 566 HIV+ patients registered in our database with 325 actively on ART and others either transferred or are lost to follow up case,” Tirang said.
In addition to the COM clinic, two other CCHS facilities also commemorated the day with activities. A combine total of over 100 tests have been conducted across all three clinics at the end of the day. This is one of the highest average of tests done in a single day for the diocese.
Tirang said some have even arranged in advance to be tested on WAD therefore testing will continue until Friday.
The day ended with light refreshment and exchanges. It was all smiles as everyone was given a red ribbon as they depart.