Kwara lacks statistics on HIV/AIDS – Agency


By Joke Adeniyi-Jackson

The Project Manager and the Executive Secretary of Kwara State AIDS Control Agency (KWASACA), Dr. Selim Babajide Alabi has revealed that there is no available record on the current prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the state.
Speaking at a press briefing to commemorate the 2017 World AIDS Day in Ilorin, the state capital, on Thursday, the expert noted that the state is long overdue for statewide survey on the scourge.
According to him, the last survey in Kwara was carried out in 2014 with the state recording a prevalence rate of 2.3percent, adding that fund has been major hindrance to the exercise.
He, however, pointed out that the problem is not peculiar to the state, stating that the National AIDS Control Agency (NACA) is saddled with the responsibility to carry out the capital-intensive survey.
Alabi further stated that the agency has outlined various programmes and measures to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in the state and stop stigmatisation of people living with the disease.
Earlier in his address the state Deputy Governor and Chairman, KWASACA, Elder Peter Kisira, said the state government is committed to making Kwara HIV free by year 2030.
Towards achieving this end, he said a lot of efforts and resources have been put into the fight against the HIV/AIDS, adding that despite the challenge, the state government in collaboration with support partners has remained unrelenting in achieving the desired result.
“It is worthy of note, to mention government’s effort in supporting People Living with HIV/AIDS in our Green Drive. We have over the years been engaged in farming activity with the aim of providing food supplement to them, also be a driver for fund generation for HIV/AIDS response in the state.
” We plan on leveraging on research and proven scientific methods to mitigate the spread of the virus amongst our people,” he further said.
On the theme for this year: Right to Health, noted that it emphasises the universal right to health without discrimination or stigma.
Fielding questions from newsmen, the state Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Suleiman Atolagbe Alege, disclosed that the state government released the sum of N34m in the second quarter of the year for the fight against the scourge and treatment of those living with the virus.
He further disclosed that the ministry expended the fund on the procurement of test kits and consumables, which were deployed to hospitals in the state.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Coordinator, Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Mr. Francis Fatoye has disclosed that six out of every ten commercial sex workers in the state are living with HIV.
Fatoye made this disclosure yesterday while speaking on a radio programme in commemoration of 2017 World AIDS Day. The Day is observed every December 1 and the theme for this year’s observance is ‘My health, my right’.
The Coordinator also revealed that there are about 462 children living with the immunodeficiency virus in the state,urging people not to stigmatise people living with the disease.
Fatoye also advised people in the State to go for regular screening to know their status, stressing that being HIV positive is not a death sentence.

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