Gombe – The Gombe State Ministry of Health said, yesterday, that it has concluded the process of transforming Gombe State Action Committee on HIV and AIDS (GOMSACA) to a full-fledged agency.
Dr Mohammad Umar, the Commissioner for Health, said in Gombe that a draft bill had been sent to the state Governor and House of Assembly. â€œA committee set up to design a road-map has concluded its assignment after touring the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA) Secretariat and some states to generate input. After the tour, we produced a draft bill and sent same to the Ministry of Justice for vetting,â€ Umar said.
He said it was later sent to the governor for his consideration and forwarding to the state House of Assembly. The commissioner said the bill would sail through because members of the state Assembly were involved in the entire process. â€œI am optimistic that by October this year, the law establishing the agency would have been passed to enable the allocation of funds to the agency in the 2010 budget,â€ he said.
Umar said the transformation of the committee to an agency would complement the efforts at controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS after the withdrawal of donor agencies.
â€œHIV is not something that is likely to be eradicated in the near future, hence, the need to have a permanent structure on ground to control its spread,â€ he said.
The Federal Ministry of Health had advised the state governments to transform their HIV/AIDS Committees to agencies.