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NACA launches electronic record for HIV/AIDS patients in Abia

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The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the programme was launched on Friday at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia in collaboration with the Global Fund.

Mr Francis Agbo, the Deputy Director and Coordinator, Global Fund said that Abia and Taraba were chosen as pilot states for the programme.

He said that the EMR system would help to collect patients’ data electronically instead of the old paper-based record.

Agbo said:” Before now, when somebody comes into hospital, information about the person is documented on paper but that has its disadvantages.

 

“It is not fast and it has challenges with the quality of the data.So this EMR intends to make it better in terms of quality and also speed at which data is collected.

“Those providing the treatment, care and support are also better in managing their clients and patients. There will be no loss of data any longer.”

He noted that the Federal Government, through NACA, planned to cover the entire country with electronic method.“

He said it was essential to report timely and accurately from facility level down to the national level.

“The world is moving digital and we can’t be left out in that aspect.

“So we are trying to computerise most of our facilities in such way that the data being generated at the facility level can also be transmitted to the national centre where it will be collated,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Godfrey Azu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Abia, expressed happiness for EMR system deployment in the state.

Azu, who was represented by Mrs Maria Okeh, Director for Reproductive Health and HIV Programme, said the deployment would ensure availability of quality data.

Azu said that 23 facilities had been fully installed with the EMR system in the state while 46 staff had been trained to ensure effective utilisation of the technology in the various facilities.

Highpoint light at the launch was the demonstration of the EMR system at the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) clinic of the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia.

Edited by Dada Ahmed

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COVID-19: NACA tasks persons living with HIV/AIDS on healthy lifestyle

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People living with (PLWAs), have been advised to adhere to safety measures issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), to fend off likely Corona virus (COVID-19) infection.

Dr Gambo Aliyu, Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), gave the advice in a statement he signed on Saturday, in Abuja.

Aliyu stressed the need for PLWAs to maintain healthy lifestyle, which he said included reducing stress as much as possible.

“Wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20-40 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid crowds and large gathering of people.

“Cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away after use.

“Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough and stay home when you are ill,” Aliyu advised.

The NACA boss who described COVID-19 as a serious global respiratory disease, said people with weak body defence systems like the PLWAs, were likely to suffer serious consequences.

He explained though that there was currently no conclusive evidence that people living with HIV were more likely to contract COVID-19, or that the effects of the virus would be worse if they did.

Aliyu, however, said the situation did not call for complacency, urging PLWAs to continue to take all necessary precautions outlined by the WHO and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to protect themselves and others.

“If you are experiencing fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, please seek medical care immediately.”

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
(NAN)

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Kaduna AIDS Agency appeals for funding to host NACA Conference

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The Kaduna State AIDS Control Agency (KADSACA) has appealed to the state government to release funds for the hosting of the National AIDS Control Agency (NACA) conference expected to hold in April.

The Executive Secretary of the Agency, Dr. Isa Baka made the appeal on Thursday in Kaduna when he led other officials on a courtesy visit to the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Amina Baloni.

Baka said the agency had submitted a budget for hosting the event to the state government for approval, but no response had been received yet.

“We are here to appeal to you in your kind gesture to assist us follow up with the budget plan for approval so we can commence preparations for the conference coming up here in Kaduna between April 20 and April 23.

“We are yet to receive any response from them and the national body of NACA are coming next week to see how far we have gone in preparation.

“We also want to appeal that the Local Organizing Committee be inaugurated soon, so that it can commence work.

“We believe that with your kind gesture we will be able to achieve that soon,” Baka said.

Responding, the Commissioner appreciated the agency for a good work and assured the officials of good working relationship.

Baloni urged the agency to have a resource mobilisation plan in place so that the ministry would work on it and intervene where necessary.

“I learnt you have a budget of N21 million, but you should also have a mobilisation plan so I can take it up from there.

“Seek partnership with other organizations so that they can assist you, because mobilisation is important to see who will commit and prioritise what you want and make sure it is in order.”

Edited By: Shuaib Sadiq/Maharazu Ahmed
(NAN)

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Condom Day: We encourage people to share love, not HIV – DG NACA

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The Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Gambo Aliyu has stressed the need for people to share love not HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Aliyu said this in commemoration of the International Condom’s Day (ICD) celebration which is observed annually on Feb. 13 to 14 through Valentine’s Day to promote safer sex awareness via the use of condoms.

While briefing newsmen on disseminating results of a national poll on condom access and utilisation in Nigeria by an NGO, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF-Nigeria), Aliyu urged people to stay away from risks especially during the Valentine’s Day celebration.

According to him, NACA was committed towards preventing the spread of .

“We are advocating that people should stay away from unsafe sexual practice especially during the celebration.

“That is why we promote the use of preventive measures which reduces the chances of HIV transmission. It’s our target by UNAIDS globally,’’ he said.

He stressed the need to achieve the 90:90:90 goal, where the first 90, means people need to know they do not have HIV in them by ensuring they get tested.

“The next 90, means for those that know they have HIV, to access treatment, while the next 90, is for those that have access to treatment to ensure the virus is under control.

The NACA boss said the survey on accessibility and use of condoms in Nigeria by the NGO would enable the government identify gaps and how to bridge them in tackling .

“We are not promoting promiscuity, we are promoting prevention and morality.

“We encourage people as much as possible to be responsible but in the process HIV prevention is very key and should be put under control within the shortest time possible.

“So all hands must be on deck, to put HIV under control and ensure it is not a threat to our national security, health and productivity.

The Country Programme Director, AHF-Nigeria, Mr Echey Ijezie said the organisation has so far donated over eight million free condoms nationwide since 2011.

“From when AHF commenced operations in Nigeria in August 2011, we have distributed over eight million free condoms to Nigerians.

“Recently we made it clear in conversation with NACA that Nigeria can further benefit from the ‘AHF Condom Bank’ in bridging the Nation’s condom deficits.

“Getting free condoms to people who need them has always been a priority for AHF, and we’re stepping up our advocacy even more around the world in 2020 to help break down barriers to access.

“Consequently condoms remain the most cost-effective option we have for preventing HIV, STIs and unplanned pregnancies,’’ he said.

Executive Director, NOIPOLLS, Dr Chike Nwangwu said the survey carried out in both rural and urban areas showed that 92 per cent of Nigerians know about condom.

“The findings showed that 92 per cent of Nigerians know about condoms, while 62 per cent of Nigerians perceive that condom is used for sexual pleasure, which is the measure that comes to their mind when they see or hear about condom.”

Nwangwu added that only 11 per cent of Nigerians think about protection against unwanted pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

“82 per cent of Nigerians find it easy to purchase condom, 10 per cent find it fairly easy, which makes it a total of 92 per cent, who find it easy to purchase a condom.’’

Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Maharazu Ahmed

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NACA trains 130 PLHIV, vulnerable persons in Kano 

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The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) says 130 indigent People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and vulnerable  persons in Kano State benefited from its just concluded skills acquisition programme.

The Director General of the agency, Dr Gambo Aliyu, stated this on Thursday in Kano at the graduation and presentation of certificate to the beneficiaries of the empowerment and skills acquisition programme.

The 10-day training initiative taught the HIV vulnerable persons skills which included beautification, hairdressing, makeup and making of confectionery.

Aliyu said: “This exercise was organised to reduce new HIV infections in line with the UNAIDS strategy to get the HIV epidemic under control by 2030.’’

He said that essence of the empowerment was to transform the lives of PLHIV and indigent HIV vulnerable persons in the state.

“We believe that empowering individuals with HIV will give them the opportunity to go to facilities and take medication and access the needed care.

“With the empowerment of 130 people in Kano and 122 in Oyo, we are already seeing positive results and we will have good stories to tell by the end of the year,” he said.

Earlier, Director-General, Kano State Agency for the Control of AIDS ( SACA), Dr Sabitu Shanono said that poverty, gender inequality and disabilities were vulnerabilities which predispose people to HIV infection.

According to him, economic empowerment is a viable tool toward ending HIV epidemic.

He commended NACA for involving vulnerable and indigent people in the empowerment programme.

Shanono said that the state government would roll out a big empowerment programme for the vulnerable to compliment NACA ‘s efforts.

Also, Mr Abdulkadir Ibrahim, the National Coordinator of Network for People Living with HIV and Aids, thanked NACA for the empowerment programme , saying  the gesture would make them to be self reliant.

“Vulnerable and indigent people are very critical if we must meet the global target to end HIV epidemic by 2030,” he said.

Some of the beneficiaries who received start up packs, said the gesture would help them have good means of livelihood.

They said that the skills acquisition programme had impacted  their lives and urged NACA to expand the programme to accommodate more people.

Nigeria News Agency ( NAN) reports that the D-G  of NACA also inaugurated the new zonal office of NACA in Kano.

The 130 beneficiaries were drawn from different support groups, including Association of Women living with in Nigeria, Network of People Living with among others.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Maharazu Ahmed

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NACA trains 130 youths, women in Kano state

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National Agency for the Control of Aids(NACA), has trained no fewer than 130 youths, including women and orphans in Kano state in various skills to empower them to be self reliant. The Public Relations Officer, Kano State Agency for Control of Aids (KSACA), Mr Aminu Sani, made the disclosure in a statement in Kano on Tuesday. Sani quoted NACA Director General, Dr Sabitu Shanono, as saying that the training was designed to improve the wellbeing of youth, women and orphans across the five emirates of the state. Shanono said that the beneficiaries were trained in tailoring; catering and cosmetology adding that the beneficiaries will on Jan.23, receive their certificates and empowerment support. Earlier, NACA North West Coordinator Mr Ade Yusuf disclosed that the Federal Government was seriously committed to ending the scourge of in Nigeria by 2030.  “The Agency will on Jan.23, open the North West office in Kano to promote collaboration and repositioning the North West States to contribute to the national push for the last mile towards ending HIV epidemic,” he said. He urged participants of the programme to make good use of the knowledge they acquired from the training.  

Edited by: Modupe Adeloye/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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NACA trains 122 HIV vulnerable persons to reduce new infections

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The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) says 122 indigent People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and vulnerable indigent persons in Oyo State benefited from its just concluded skills acquisition programme.

The agency’s Director General, Dr Gambo Aliyu, stated this on Monday in Ibadan at the graduation ceremony and presentation of certificate to the beneficiaries of the empowerment and skills acquisition programme.

The 10-day training initiative taught the HIV vulnerable persons skills which included beautification, hairdressing, makeup, confectionery and body works.

Aliyu said that the exercise was organised to reduce new HIV infections in line with the UNAIDS strategy to get the HIV epidemic under control by 2030.

According to him, good means of livelihood for PLHIV translates to effective treatment which helps to suppress the viral load of the virus.

“We believe that empowering individuals with HIV will give them the opportunity to go to facilities and take medication and access the needed care.

“We know that we don’t see some persons living with HIV on our treatment list because they cannot even afford the cost of transportation to even go to the facilities and take the drugs.

“This skills acquisition and empowerment programme enables PLHIV to rise above the stigmatisation and discrimination that deny them from being gainfully employed within the society and seek the needed care.

“We started this last year with about 130 people in Kaduna and FCT, and now we are expanding it to 250 people in Ibadan and Kano.

“We are already seeing positive results and we will have good stories to tell by the end of the year,” he said.

Earlier in her presentation, Dr Yinka Falola-Anoemuah,the Lead, Gender Human Right and Care Services of NACA, said that poverty, gender inequality and disabilities were vulnerabilities which predisposed people to HIV infection.

According to Falola-Anoemuah, economic empowerment is a viable tool toward achieving SDGs and ending HIV epidemic.

“Vulnerable and indigent people are very critical if we must meet the global target to end HIV epidemic by 2030.

“It is important that we take care of holistic needs of PLHIV, People living with Disabilities and other vulnerables in our society.

“This empowerment programme presents us with the opportunity to meet their needs and support them to have good means of livelihood with which they would be able to take their drugs, live healthy life and have viral suppression.

“When they have skills with which they can fend and provide for themselves, they would most likely not engage in risky behavior that predisposes them to contracting HIV or spreading the virus to other people, ” she said.

In her remarks, the wife of the Oyo State governor, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde, lauded the efforts of NACA, describing it as a needed intervention.

Makinde, represented by the Executive Secretary, Oyo State Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr Lanre Abas, said that empowerment would transform the lives of highly vulnerable persons in the state.

Mr Eniola Olamilekan, one of the beneficiaries who testified to how the skills acquisition programme they attended had impacted on their lives, urged NACA to expand the programme to accommodate more people in their communities.

” Without money in our pockets and food in our bellies, taking drugs on empty stomachs, even though it’s free, will not work,” he said.

NAN reports that the 122 benfeciaries were drawn from different support groups, including Association of Women living with in Nigeria, Association of Positive Youths Living with in Nigeria, Network of People Living with and People Living With Disability.

(Edited by: Mufutau Ojo)

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NACA cautions Nigerians against indiscriminate sex in 2020

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The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has cautioned Nigerians against infection through indiscriminate sex in 2020.

NACA Director General, Dr Gambo Aliyu, gave the advice in a statement signed by the agency’s Director of Publicity Mrs Toyin Aderibigbe on Wednesday in Abuja.

Aliyu urged Nigerians to strive hard to know their status which was necessary for preventive interventions and treatment.

“We recommend to Nigerians to know their HIV status as we enter in New Year, your HIV story begins with knowing your HIV status which is the safest gateway to HIV prevention, care and treatment.

“Knowing your HIV status allows you to make informed decisions either way the result turns out.

“Remember, people still get infected with HIV every day, mostly as a result of indiscriminate sexual behaviour,” he said.

The director-general said that NACA has taken bold steps to prevent new HIV infections through consistent provision of information on prevention and accessible services to Nigerians irrespective of where they resided in the country.

“We must build on the successes recorded so far at individual, family and community levels to prevent new HIV infections as we move into the last mile decade for the control and eradication of HIV,” he said.

Gambo assured that as the country joined the rest of the world to push for the last mile, NACA, in synergy with stakeholders, would ensure 90 per cent of Nigerians who lived with HIV knew their status.

He also assured that those infected would be placed on life saving treatment to achieve viral load suppression to keep them alive and healthy.

“Knowing one’s HIV status is no longer difficult as Nigerians can now test themselves in a matter of minutes using self-test kits or call NACA at 6222 for guidance,” Gambo said.

Edited by: Shittu Obassa/Ali baba-Inuwa
(NAN)

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NACA adopts new technology for HIV screening

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The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has adopted a new technology for HIV screening.

Dr Yewande Olafa, NACA Assistant Director, Community Prevention and Care Services disclosed this while speaking with the Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, on Saturday.

Olafa said the new technology was that of a non blood based test kit, designed to promote privacy and confidence among users.

She said that the screening kit was oral based with simplicity, accuracy and fastness in ascertaining one’s HIV status.

“It is in line with commemoration of World Aids Day with the title, “Community makes the difference,” in which we are engaging the community to help in reduction of HIV spread,” Olafa said.

She urged Nigerians to embrace the new technology for HIV screening, saying that HIV detection was not the end of life.

” If you are positive with oraquick, don’t conclude yet, go for confirmation in a nearby hospital facility,” she said.

The NACA Assistant Director restated the readiness of the agency to continue to reduce HIV infection through testing and awareness creation.

Also speaking, Ms Rhoda Ajibola, expressed satisfaction with the oral test kit which according to her was portable and efficient.

Ajibola, who said that the kit would help reduce stigma, noted that it was very effective and qualitative in testing HIV and commended NACA for the initiative.

NAN reports that Oraquick Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test had been utilised internationally for over 15 years, and it was a brand trusted by patients and practitioners alike.

The new test kit was showcased at Apo Mechanic Village, Abuja, as part of efforts by NACA to reduce the spread of HIV in Nigeria.

Edited & Vetted By: Ariwodola Idowu/Ali Baba-Inuwa
(NAN)

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Decentralisation of NACA Office meant to strengthen fight against HIV/AIDS — DG

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Dr Gambo Aliyu, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of S (NACA), has said that the decentralisation of the agency’s office to the six geopolitical zones of the country is to strengthen its fight against the spread of the scourge.
Aliyu said this on Tuesday during the inauguration of the South-East Zonal Office of the agency in Umuahia, the Abia capital.
He said that the measure was meant to take the war against the disease closer to the people, to further identify the carriers and avail them with easy access to the facility and medications.
He also said that the zonal offices of the agency would also help to drive the fight against the stigmatisation of persons living with the scourge.
He admonished Abia residents to visit NACA and State Agencies for the Control of S (SACA) facilities to know their status.
Aliyu said: “You can go for secret screening to ascertain your status and if you discover that you are positive please go the facility for counselling and medications.
“Today, the medications are helping to treat those living with S.
“The medications can help to wipe out the virus from the blood and make it difficult to transfer to another person.”
According to him, the efficacy of the drugs is that those who tested positive can continue to live healthy, productive and attractive.
He wondered why people living with S would be stigmatised by society, when those suffering from hypertension and diabetes were not stigmatised.
The NACA boss appealed to stakeholders to take the message to encourage Nigerians to ascertain their status and present themselves for medication, if found positive.
“Why do we allow our people to continue to die in ignorance. We should all join hands to fight stigmatisation.
“The message today is that S is not the end of one’s life,” Aliyu said.
He thanked Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia for his demonstrable commitment toward reducing the prevalence rate in the state.
He said that Ikpeazu acquitted himself as the first governor in the country to fulfil his pledge to commit 0.5 per cent of Abia’s Federal Allocation to the fight against the scourge in Abia.
In a speech, Okezie expressed concern that the prevalence in the South-East was still higher than the national prevalence of 1.9 per cent.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Ude Oko-Chukwu, said that the ugly situation posed serious challenge to all the SACA managements in the zone “to intensify their efforts in the fight against the scourge.”
He said, “HIV has become like any other disease and once one discovers he is positive, he should present himself to SACA.”
He charged the people of the state to “come out from their hiding place and access drugs from the government at highly subsidised cost.
He said that the Abia government placed serious emphasis on the issues concerning the health of its citizenry and pledged to collaborate with NACA to achieve a prevalence below the national prevalence.
The Zonal Coordinator, NACA South-East Zonal Office, Dr Miriam Ezekwe, said that setting up the zonal office would increase and improve the interface of SACA with NACA, “thereby making the national response more robust.”
Ezekwe said that the result of the National AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey 2018 showed that NACA had done well to bring down the national prevalence estimate to 1.4 per cent and 1.9 per cent in the south east.
She said that although the survey revealed progress and critical gaps in ending the epidemic, adding that the burden was still high due to the huge population in the country.
The Project Manager of SACA, Dr Ajike Kalu, said that Abia, alongside other southeast states, still remained within the top seven states where prevalence was greater than the national prevalence.
“This calls for a more collaborative efforts among the South-East states toward reducing the prevalence.
“The establishment of the southeast zonal office could not have come at a better time.
“The office will no doubt act as the springboard we require to function effectively and eventually reduce prevalence,” Kalu said.
The Team Lead, state Programme Implementation Unit, Mrs Maria Ikeh, and Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji, thanked NACA for its support to the state in the collective effort to eradicate the scourge in Abia.
A representative of the Persons Living With S, Michael Ozeh, also thanked NACA, SACA and state government for their assistance in making their medications available to them.
Ozeh, however, said that the group was faced with serious financial and psychological challenges and solicited support from government and public-spirited individuals.

(Edited by Sam Oditah)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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