NACA, SURE-P to embark on HIV counselling in IDPs in three states
THE National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) have covered seven states as part of their national HIV counselling and testing campaign.
The programme has now commenced intense campaign in seven (7) additional states of Nasarawa, Edo, Ebonyi, Sokoto, Yobe, Adamawa and Borno to be completed this month.
For Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states, NACA/SURE-P are particularly targeting displaced persons who are in the camps. Other states not covered by the current campaign are expected to be covered after the upcoming national elections, officials have said.
Speaking at a NACA/SURE-P medical outreach in Nasarawa State yesterday, Secretariat Coordinator PIU, HIV/AIDS Programme, Dr Yewande Olaifa, gave further details into the programme.
She said: “This is a Federal Government initiative that will use money saved from fuel subsidy to meet the needs of Nigerians and one of the areas is HIV/AIDS. The funding for the PCRP is coming from SURE-P through NACA, which was launched in 2013 by the President.
“What the programme entails is to do what more in terms of what is been done in the control and treatment of HIV already in the country. Largely, HIV response in Nigeria has been donor driven but the government still realizes that there is still so much to be done, that is why they have provided funds for do more in HIV response.
“The choice of Nasarawa local government for this outreach was made by the stakeholders in the state who said that they have done similar thing in other areas but not Nasarawa. It is not that Nasarawa has a higher prevalence of HIV over other areas. When go to states that have a high prevalence, we try to cover all the areas in the state and the states as well will also do their own surveys.”
He added: “Beyond HIV/AIDS, this a general medical outreach in which the blood pressure, blood sugar, height and weight are all checked. The doctors are also here to counsel those who require further attention and there is the free distribution of drugs. The doctors will examine you first and prescribe drugs accordingly.
“For those who test positive to HIV, they will be linked to facilities that provide ART services. The drugs that are provided in this outreach are all generic drugs but for those that test positive to HIV, they will have to go to the facilities and get registered.
Aliyi Ahmed Tijjani, Chairman, Nasarawa Local Government, said, “we are here to appreciate the contribution of NACA and the federal government of Nigeria towards ensuring a healthy society, because health they say is wealth. You know the situation we are in this country, out of ten people you will find out that nine of them are sick. Therefore, when you say there is free medication, you can imagine the kind of crowd that will turn out. In the next few hours, this whole place will be filled with people because the whole exercise is free.”
Deputy Director in the Primary Healthcare Department and LACA Coordinator in Nasarawa LGA, Mrs. Hauwa M. Obakpa, thanked the Federal Government through SURE-P and NACA for what it is dong for this free medical outreach.