The Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Omar Sey, on Wednesday, 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.