Kogi State governor, Capt Idris Wada has described as worrisome the 2010 sentinel survey figure of 5.8 percent HIV/AIDs prevalence rate of the state.
To this end the Kogi State governor has directed that with an estimated 60 percent of the population patronizing private health facilities,the state ministry of health was charged to monitor and evaluate performance indicators to ensure testing and treatment in a focused and result oriented manner in such institutions.
The State Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Yomi Awoniyi gave the directives in his address at this years world aids day in Lokoja.
While noting that the disturbing realities and concern calls for attention by all, he said it has necessitated the production and adoption of the President’s comprehensive response plan for HIV/AIDs in Nigeria by the state government.
The Governor explained that the State Government will remain committed to ensuring the good health of its citizens and dwellers through payment of its counterpart funds to enable the agency responsible for coordinating HIV/AIDs activities in the state function effectively.
More efforts Capt Wada explained would be channeled towards advocacy,sensitization,counseling as is strongly supported by the world Bank.
Wada added that the state will scale up various aspects of HIV/AIDs efforts particularly in prevention of mother to child transmission,HIV/AIDs counseling, testing and increase number of persons on antiretroviral therapy.
Keeping of appropriate statistics to guide planning and implementation as well as address cultural,religious peculiarities through advocacy,the governor further added will be intensified at various locations using registered NGO’s coordinated and cared for by KOSACA.
The Governor also directed the immediate set up of a state management team to drive processes in line with the president’s comprehensive response plan.
In its further drive for a zero infection,discrimination and death from HIV/AIDs government Capt Wada will encourage counseling and testing in 987 PHC’s and increase in comprehensive sites.
Also speaking,Dr Idris Omede commissioner for health said more counseling and testing in primary health centers will be increased upon while the local government areas will be encouraged upon to improve on their concern for issues related to HIV/AIDs.
The Commissioner commended the interventions and strategies with clear commitment,the vision of the Capt Idris Wada administration in ensuring the reduction of HIV/AIDs to zero in the state.
Earlier in her address,Hajia Rehinatu Bala,Executive Secretary Kogi State Agency For the control of AIDs(Kosaca),said these years theme getting zero means getting infections of HIV/AIDs,stigmatization and also getting HIV/AIDs related deaths to zero.
Hajia Rahinatu disclosed that out of the 3.2 million population in Kogi State only 57408 were tested. She also added that out of the 110849 persons currently living positive with HIV only 7404 are on treatment.
The KOSACA Secretary called for more political will on the funding of the implementation of HIV interventions at the grassroots where majority of people reside in the state.
Highlights of the 2013 world AIDs day in the state was the launch of a book HIV/AIDs 40 commonly asked questions,road shows to create awareness as well as the presentation of food items to those living with the virus.