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By Madi Ceesay

Lamin Ceesay: first Gambian to put a human face on HIV/AIDS

The president of the Gambia’s community of People Living with HIV/AIDS (Santa Yallah Support Society) has hailed his decision to be the first Gambian to put a human face on HIV/AIDS. The global pandemic that is yet to be cured continues to feed on humans.

“I was the first Gambia to declare my HIV/AIDs status in public many years ago in order to fight the menace.  I am happy today, that such a public declaration is paying dividend,” said Lamin Ceesay, president of Santa Yalla Support Society president.

Mr. Ceesay had made the most difficult decision in his life a decade ago. He has since been playing a lead role in raising awareness about the global pandemic. His activism has taken him beyond the borders of the Gambia.

Mr. Ceesay, whose organization received double cabin pick-up cars alongside Mutapula, said: “We would not have been here receiving such a great support if those of us living with the virus hide and keep multiplying the diseases.” The cars were donated by Actional International The Gambia (AAITG).

The pick-ups, donated under the AAITG’S Global Fund round 8, were meant to bolster the fight against the global pandemic. 

Mr. Ceesay, who made the remarks at a colorful ceremony at the Action Aid head offices in Kanifing, said the donated “vehicles will help ease our work of frequently visiting our colleagues and provide them with the required home base support. We are grateful to Action aid International the Gambia and Global Fund Round 8,” he said.

Action Aid Gambia Executive Director, Dr. Kujajatou Manneh Jallow, was deputized by Almamo Barrow, the AAITG Manager of Health Programmes.

“These vehicles are bought at a cost of over 1.5 million Dalasi,” said Dr. Kujajatou Manneh-Jallow, exhorting beneficiaries to employ qualified drivers to handle the vehicles. She also asked them to send the cars for regular maintenance so they could serve their purpose.

She said the Gambia tasks herself with closing the gap of the HIV/AIDs prevalence from 2.8 to 2.0 by 2014, which she said added “cannot be achieved without timely interventions and commitment.” Dr. Manneh-Jallow said that provision of mobility was a necessity.

Global Fund has over 100 vehicles in the Gambia.


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