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HIV/AIDS: Plateau has 1.6 per cent prevalence rate says health commissionerner




Jos,  Dec. 2, 2019 The Plateau commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Ndam, on Monday disclosed  that the state’s HIV prevalence rate has dropped to  1.6 per cent.

Ndam made  the disclosure in Jos at a news conference to commemorate the World Aids day with the global theme: “Communities Make the Difference”.

According to him, the 1.6 prevalence rate was based on the NAIIS survey of 2018, which shows that the state had recorded a decline from the initial rate of 5.9 per cent prevalence.

The commissioner also disclosed that the state  currently has 39,732 persons on anti retroviral drugs.

He said that the state  was very proactive in achieving a zero per cent prevalence rate and as such  the 2020 health  budget had  the sum of N300 million naira captured  for services related to HIV and Aids.

He said this was the first time a budget for HIV and Aids was made.

Ndam described the theme for this year as very apt, as communities  played strong advocacy and such advocacy was needed to ensure that AIDS remained on the political agenda.

He, however, stressed that the state was still being  faced with the challenge of unmet needs for commodities and data quality in respect to HIV and AIDS.

He said that there is need for the  government to increase investment in health care delivery and for health workers to optimise  their response strategies.

Earlier, the Plateau Assembly House Chairman of Committee on Health, Mr Daniel  Nanbol, noted that the committee, had the responsibility of advocating better funding for the health sector, as funding in the sector was not adequate.

He also said that the committee  would domesticate  a legal framework that would mandate all blood transfusion centers to  have laboratories that had P24 machines which ascertained the blood in the blood banks were safe for transfusion.

Nigeria News Agency reports that most civil society groups in Jos-Bukuru metropolis are carrying out free screening to enable people to know their status.

Edited & Vetted By: Modupe Adeloye and Abdullahi Yusuf