The Borno State Government has scaled up Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) testing and treatment services at 264 health centres and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps to achieve United Nations’ AIDS strategy of 90:90: 90 by 2030.
Also, the Yobe State Agency for the control of AIDS (YOSACA) has commenced the expansion of HIV testing services to 178 political wards across the state to achieve United Nations’ AIDS strategy of 90: 90: 90 by 2030.
The strategy, was 90 per cent of the population be tested, while 90 per cent of the HIV carriers be placed on therapy and have free access to drugs to suppress their viral loads.
Borno State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia, on Friday at a news conference in Maiduguri to mark this year’s World AIDS Day said the cumulative HIV testing and counselling services from 2011 and November 2017, has hit 1.402 million with new infections of no less than 1, 902 carriers for this year.
His words: “We have already placed a total number of 11, 303 clients on Anti-Retro viral Therapy (ART), while 922 pregnant women in the state; are accessing prevention of mother to child transmission prophylaxis.
“Out of the 264 HIV/AIDS testing and treatment centres we have in the state, there are 42 prevention of mother to child transmission sites across the state.”He said that the total number of people tested for HIV/AIDS at the 264 centres has hit 236, 404 this year.
Executive Director of YOSACA, Ali Kime disclosed this at the weekend to mark World AIDS Day in Damaturu, the state capital. He said the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS has dropped to 1.5 per cent in 2014 and at the time of this announcement on testing extension services to doorstep of the people.
His words: “The extension of HIV testing services to 178 wards in the state; was made possible with the support of the Save One Million Life programme which release the sum of over N21 million to this agency.
“This year’s marking of World AIDS Day, was not only to scale up and extend testing services, but raise awareness on the AIDS scourge and pandemic across the globe.”
Mshelia however noted that Borno state with a population of 5.83 million, with a growth rate of 3.4 per cent, has only 1, 902 new infections for 2017.
He said the renovations, completion and equipping of 48 General Hospitals with N4.2 billion procured state of the arts hospital facilities and equipment, the United Nations’ AIDS global strategy could be achieved by 2030.
He said the hospitals that are manned by 59 doctors, have both 3D and 32 units of 2D Ultra-modern scanning machines at State’s Specialist Hospital, Muhammed Shuwa Memorial Hospital and Umaru Shehu Ultra-Modern Hospital, Maiduguri.He further disclosed that eight general new hospitals are to be build next year to complement the ones we have in implementing UNAIDS global strategy.“There is no need for you to waste your money for scanning in private hospitals of Maiduguri,” he warned.
He also attributed the decrease in prevalence rate to the massive focus on preventive intervention instituted by the state government through the agency in conjunction with a wide range of Stakeholder in Yobe state.
On drop of prevalence rate, Kime said: “HIV infection in Yobe was reported in 1989, since then, the epidemic has steadily increased from 1.9 per cent in 1991, to 3.58 per cent in 2001 to 3.8 per cent in 2003, retrogressing to 3.7 per cent in 2005 and in 2008 to 2.7 percentage point.”
He said the rate further dropped to 2.1 per cent in 2010 and 1.5 percent in 2014.“This is attributed to the focus on preventive interventions instituted by the state government through the State Agency for the Control of AIDS and working with a wide range of stakeholders involved in the state HIV and AIDS response,” said Kime.The agency, according to him, procured and distributed environmental and social safe guards to 53 health centres across the state at the cost of N4.5million.