The HIV/AIDS prevalence
rate in Nigeria has dropped from 5.1 per cent to 3.4 per cent, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, has said.
The Director General, NACA, Prof. John Idoko, attributed the decrease in the rate of the HIV/AIDS infection in the country to extensive awareness of the virus by Nigerians.
Idoko spoke on the HIV/AIDS Anti-discrimination Bill on Monday.
He stated that the HIV/AIDS Anti-Discrimination Bill, which President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law in 2014, had given hope to those living with HIV that they would not be stigmatised when other people were aware of their status.
Idoko, who was represented by the Chief Programme Officer, NACA, Mr. Ali Ade-Yusuf, at the four-day free medical treatment, organised by NACA-Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme in Essien Udim and Ika Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State, said the programme targeted 10,000 persons at each of the points.
He revealed that the HIV/AIDS was no longer a life- threatening disease since the people living with the disease could still live their normal lives for a long period.
She said, “Though we have incorporated other programmes towards improving the overall health of the people living with chronic conditions including cancers, diabetes, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS as well as combat the stigma of HIV, the programme’s main focus is on HIV/AIDS. We want people to have knowledge of this disease.
“We have asked people in Ukana and Ika to come for this HIV test freely. After seeking their consent, we educate them so that they can have a good knowledge of the HIV/AIDS. We also let people know why they must not discriminate against those who have tested positive to the disease. Those who are positive are parts of us and we should embrace them.HIV/AIDS is no longer a life-threatening disease. It has preventive measures; if you are HIV positive we have drugs that will give you a long life with good diet and other things.” She added.
A patient at Ukana, Mrs. Gloria Ekong, commended Jonathan for initiating the free medical programmes for the indigent populace who could not afford medical treatment.
According to Ekong, she had been having stomach ache for the past four years. She added that she did not actually know the cause of the ailment.
“I have gone to different churches so that they will pray for my relief, but instead, the ailment keeps worsening year in year out. But with the drugs I have been given, based on medical team prescription, I hope I will be all right,” she said.
HIV: FG Restates Commitment To Prevent HIV Among Adolescents
The Federal Government yesterday restated its commitment to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among adolescents in the country.
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with NACA, UNFPA, UNICEF, launched a document on prevention of HIV in Abuja.
The document is integrated into three titles; “The HIV Investment Case for Adolescents and Young People (2021-2025), The National Condom Operational Plan (2021-2025) and National Condom and Lubricants Quantification (2021-2025).”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Yahaya Oloriegbe, identified condom as key in the prevention of the spread of HIV among young people.
Oloruigbe, who commended the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and partners for the effort, called for local production of condoms.
“We need to look inwards by encouraging local manufacturing of condoms in view of government’s dwindling resources, as well as breaking away from over dependence on international donors,” he said.
The Director General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu,asserted the agency’s success in the containment of HIV through prevention and treatment responses.
Aliyu said that the country was committed to achieving the 2030 target of 95-95-95 through collaboration with stakeholders by investing in adolescents.
He added, “we have made huge success when it comes to treatment and prevention with drastic reduction in transmission.”
The NACA boss however affirmed the belief of the agency in using the document to achieve the 95-95-95 target for 2030.
Mrs Zainab Garba of the Federal Ministry of Health commended NACA for launching the document, saying it would enhance young people’s access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.
Garba reiterated the importance of condom in reducing the spread of HIV and maternal deaths among young people, saying it was key in preventing all manners of sexually transmitted infections.
Doctor Warns Against Indiscriminate Use Of Contraceptives
A medical expert, Dr Umar Musa, on Monday warned women against indiscriminate use of contraceptives.
Dr Musa, President, Kaduna State Resident Doctors Association, gave the advice when he spoke with newsmen in Kaduna, noted the indiscriminate consumption of contraceptives to ward off unwanted pregnancies and cautioned that while they could forestall unwanted pregnancies, contraceptives were not antidotes for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
He said there was a particular contraceptive pill in hot demand, but also cautioned that its indiscriminate consumption could delay conception or damage the uterus.
“Too much of this contraceptive will weaken the wall of the womb and damage the uterus which will cause miscarriages in the future.
“There are lots of risks associated with the constant use of this drug. Most ladies consume contraceptives in clinically unsafe ways.
“They use these drugs without knowing the way they interact with the body system and forgetting that people react to drugs in different ways,’’ he said.
Musa also advocated tighter restrictions on the sale of contraceptives and suggested that the use of condoms was an option to stave off unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
“While a condom may look like a major inconvenience and a fun killer for many, it would protect one from sexually transmitted diseases and prevent pregnancy”.
Covid-19: NCDC Records 213 New Infections, Two Deaths
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded 213 additional new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 171, 324, as of July 26, 2021.
The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle yesterday morning.
The health agency also stated that it recorded two Covid-19 related deaths on Monday, while additional nine people recovered from the virus, as of July 26, 2021.
It added that the new infections were recorded in 12 states, namely: Lagos-157, Rivers-20, Plateau-12, Enugu-6, Oyo-6, Gombe-3, Bauchi-2, Imo-2, Kaduna-2, Edo-1, Ekiti-1, and Ogun-1.
It noted that since the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease in the country on February 27, 2020, a total of 2,134 persons lost their lives, while 164,798 recovered from the virus and discharged from health centres across the country.
NCDC added that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, had continued to coordinate the national response activities.
It stated that the country tested more than 2.4 million samples for the virus and had detected 10 Covid-19 Delta variant, recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility.
The variant had been detected in over 100 countries and may spread further.
The variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation. There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics.
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