By Joseph Albert (Umunna TV)
Anambra state government has enrolled two hundred persons living with HIV in the state Health Insurance Scheme.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike disclosed this at a press briefing organized by the Anambra State AIDS Control Agency (ANSACA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and partners to commemorate 2022 World AIDS Day.
HIV/AIDS is one of the diseases of public importance, which transmits from person to person through body fluids during sexual intercourse, mother to child during pregnancy, labor and delivery, breast feeding, blood transfusion and risky sexual behaviours, among others.
Dr. Obidike, who explained that Anambra is one of the states in Nigeria with very high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, said the high prevalence indicates that more people in the state are being tested on a daily basis.
The Commissioner noted that using the Anambra state’s most recent HIV prevalence of two point four percent, and projected population of over six million people in the state, and a spectrum projection for 2022, they have a testing target of over 90,000 but has so far reached over 42,000.
Dr. Obidike said that the ministry in collaboration with their implementing partners set up two community teams per local government area in the state that conduct free HIV testing and counseling in communites, churches and markets across the state, and that they have taken the HIV prevention and counseling to higher institutions of learnings, National Youth Service Corps camp, among others.
He revealed that Anambra state government has increased the HIV treatment sites in the state from 104 to 1,017 in the last eight months.
Dr. Obidike maintained that in limiting some of the challenges faced by people living with HIV/AIDS, the state government has enrolled 200 people living with the virus into the Anambra state Health Insurance Scheme.
According to him, HIV self testing kit is available for people who do not want to be tested outside, and that Anambra State government is working tirelessly to educate people on what they need to know about the disease, how to prevent it, among others.
The health commissioner made it clear that in order to mark this year’s event, they will set up multiple testing points for free HIV testing at strategic locations, road walk at major cities of the state, including Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha, and that the day provides a unique opportunity for massive public sensitization, aimed at reducing new infections, educating the society on modes of transmission and improving HIV counseling and testing services.(ABS)
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