Workers’ Day: NACA Laments Stigma In Work Places


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By Alice Etuka, Abuja

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), has said there was a need for employers, trade unions, government agencies, and civil society organisations to work together to develop and enforce comprehensive workplace policies that protect and support all employees.

This is according to a statement issued by the agency’s Head of Public Relations and Protocol, Toyin Aderibigbe on Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

Aderibigbe disclosed that the Director General of NACA, Temitope Ilori emphasised how stigma undermined the well-being and productivity of affected individuals while perpetuating misinformation and fear among the workforce.

May 1 is a tribute to workers worldwide, with the 2024 theme centred on ‘Social Justice and Decent Work for All’.

Ilori, who noted that the significance of this year’s theme should resonate with every employer of labour in the country, highlighted the pressing need for equitable and inclusive work environments.

Lamenting that despite strides made, stigma against individuals living with HIV/AIDS persists within Nigerian workplaces, the DG said, “Regrettably, stigma remains a formidable obstacle for those living with HIV/AIDS in Nigerian workplaces”.

According to the her, stigma erodes trust, obstructs access to crucial support services, and ultimately hinders national efforts to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS, NACA recognises workplaces as pivotal in fostering acceptance, understanding, and support for employees living with HIV/AIDS.

She further emphasised the need for employers, trade unions, government agencies, and civil society organisations to work together to develop and enforce comprehensive workplace policies that protect and support all employees.

In addition, employers were implored to adopt non-discriminatory practices, safeguard medical information confidentiality, and facilitate access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care services.

The DG, however, affirmed NACA’s unwavering commitment to advocating for the rights and dignity of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, ready to support stakeholders in fostering more inclusive workplaces.

“Let’s join hands in crafting a future where every worker receives dignity, respect, and compassion, irrespective of their HIV status,” she said.


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