By PETER DURU
MAKURDI — Over 300,000 Nigerians die annually from complications arising from HIV/AIDS, while no fewer than 1.5 million children are orphaned yearly by the deadly virus in the country.
Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHDA, Dr. Ado Mohammad, disclosed this yesterday at a week-long Integrated Service Delivery Training for community health workers, organized by the Programme for HIV/AIDS Integration and Decentralization, PHAID, in Makurdi.
Dr. Mohammad said: “HIV/AIDS continues to be a major burden in our country, with well over 1.5million children orphaned annually by the virus which also claims over 300,000 Nigerian lives yearly.”
Represented by Dr. Bakunawa Bello, the NPHDA Executive Director warned that the “devastation and dangers posed by the virus in our country calls for concerted effort by all Nigerians, including health workers, to ensure that we drive down the incidence of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
”This accounts for the various strategic trainings and programmes initiated by the NPHDA in states across the country and high HIV/AIDS endemic states in the country in particular.”
In her speech, the Project Officer, PHAID, Hyeladzirah Shalangwa, said “the training programme, which is in five categories is intended to further equip healthcare providers with the wherewithal to provide one stop shop services to victims of HIV/AIDS in parts of Benue state.”
Executive Secretary of the Benue State Action Committee on AIDS, BENSACA, Mrs. Ashi Wende, who was represented by Ado Ihuman, urged participants to put what they gathered from the training to good use in the fight against the the dreaded virus in the state.