By Ankeli Emmanuel |
The director-general of National Agency for the Control of AIDs (NACA), Dr Muhammadu Gambo Aliyu, have disclosed that no fewer than one million and two hundred thousand people are currently living with HIV/AIDs in Nigeria.
Dr Aliyu who made the disclosure in Sokoto said that, though COVID-19 seems to have taken over the health discourse, Nigeria is still rated high in terms of HIV/AIDs success globally.
Speaking at a 5 day Capacity Strengthening of Key and Vulnerable Populations in Access to HIV Services Efficiency held in Sokoto, Dr Aliyu noted that they have dealt with the issue of stigmatization as there is now an existing law to fight that.
“In most countries, COVID-19 has suppressed HIV/AIDs. However, in Nigeria and 5 others, HIV/AIDs programmes have defiled COVID-19 andstand tall as it continues.
“Nigeria has recorded successes that it has never recorded before in the last 17 years. Globally, Nigeria is rated number one in terms ofHIV/AIDs successes today.”
Talking on the import of the success recorded, NACA DG stressed that, “So far, we have identified 1,200,000 people living with HIV/AIDs in Nigeria at the moment. And we have 500,000 to go on the average for us to feel confident and comfortable that we have identified 95 percent of people living with HIV/AIDs and we are at the verge of controlling it to the extent that we can stop its spread and achieve the goals that we wanted to achieve in the next three years.”
Reacting to the call by Sokoto state commissioner of health, Dr Muhammad Ali Inname for people living with HIV/AIDs to be enrolled into thestate health contributory scheme, the NACA boss said, it’s a welcome development, hence that will allow for ownership and sustainability.
However, the state commissioner of health, Dr Inname disclosed that Sokoto has over 8000 people living with HIV/AIDs even as he assured that the fight against the virus is a continuous one.
Also, the Sokoto state executive secretary of NACA, Mallam Umar Alkamawa said the programme came at a right time hence there is no better time than now that we are facing a very difficult time getting funds from donors.
“It is very necessary for us to sustain and take ownership of the struggle before the partners leave.”