Kwara has lowest HIV cases in Nigeria, says NACA
Govt to obtain N20b bond for infrastructure
The National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), has declared Kwara as one of the states with lowest rate of HIV infection in the country.
NACA Chief Programme Officer, Mr. Tajudeen Arowolo stated this at the opening of four-day free medical outreach organised by the agency at Oja Tuntun, Boboko in Ilorin.
Meanwhile, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed yesterday said he would make infrastructure development the thrust of the policies of his administration.
The governor disclosed this in Ilorin while addressing some stakeholders in the state. Already the state government has agreed to expend a sum of N56 billion on infrastructural development across the 16 local government councils of the state in 2016.
Out of the amount, the government would obtain the sum of N20 billion bond from the capital market. He added that bond “is one of the ways we will device to execute capital project in the in-coming year.”
Arowolo said that North Central geo political zone of the country was reputed to be the most endemic with the highest number of recorded cases of HIV.
“This is because of the high cases recorded in Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Out of the states in North Central, Kwara has the lowest rate of HIV cases and one of the lowest in the entire country,” Arowolo said.
He said NACA has carried out similar free medical outreaches in many states of the federation with huge success.
According to Arowolo, NACA screened, tested and gave results to 4, 441 people in Kogi state out of the 5, 000 targeted people. He said out of the 4, 441 people that were tested, only 19 women tested positive to the disease.
The NACA CPO said 19 people were immediately referred to health facilities nearest to their residence to commence free treatment. He said there had been remarkable decrease of HIV cases in Nigeria as a result of NACA’s regular outreach programmes.
According to him, NACA’s constant awareness campaign and sensitisation have helped in controlling the spread of the disease in the country.
Arowolo attributed the success of the outreach to the strategies adopted by NACA, one of which he said was the inclusion of free medical treatment for other illnesses like malaria, cough and blood sugar level.
He also said that all nursing or pregnant women that came for the test and treatment would be given free mosquito nets treated with insecticide.
Arowolo said 5, 000 people were expected to come forward for the free test and medical treatment in Ilorin.
Mr. Ibrahim Umoru, Executive Director, Good Health Educators Initiatives, an NGO appealed to all Nigerian adults to endeavour to know their HIV status.
Umoru, one of the facilitators of the programme, said Nigeria had the second highest burden of HIV globally.
He said counselling and testing for HIV was one of the entry points for HIV intervention, but noted that Nigerians performed low in this regard.
Umoru stated that just over seven million Nigerians knew their HIV status out of over170 million people in the country.
“People should come out to be tested. Gone are the days when testing for HIV meant death sentence. Today, HIV is a manageable disease if it is discovered early enough before it becomes full blown AIDS,” Umoru added.