By PETER DURU, Abuja
Over 67,000 People Living with HIV/AIDS, PLWHAS are currently receiving free treatment and care in designated centers established by the Benue state government.
Benue state Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Orduen Abunku disclosed this yesterday at the year’s ministerial press briefing, organised by the Benue state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, under the auspices of Benue State Ministry of Information.
Dr. Abunku said, “state government has also scaled up its treatment and care centres for People Living with HIV/AIDS, PLWHAS, from 23 treatment sites in 2011 to 47 as at May, 2013.
This centres are currently reaching out to about 67,000 persons as at May 2013 in the state government’s renewed onslaught against the disease across the state.”
According to the Commissioner, “Benue State Aids Control Agency, BENSACA has also been charged with the responsibility of coordinating a state wide HIV response as part of efforts to drive down the scourge in Benue.
”Its goal is to reduce HIV and AIDS incidence and prevalence by at least 25 percent and provide equitable prevention, care treatment and support services while mitigating its impact among women, youths, children and other vulnerable groups and the general population in Benue state by 2015.”
Dr. Abunku stressed that the renewed onslaught includes “increase awarenes of the general public on the benefit of HIV counseling and testing and anti-retroviral therapy as well as the increased intakes of HIV and AIDS services and products in the communities which has greatly facilitated the achievements that have been recorded sor far.”
In addition, he said “BENSACA, has been charged to collaborate with relevant agencies including SEV-AV Foundation, a pet project of the Wife of the Benue State Governor, Arc. Mrs. Yemisi Suswam, in the area of skills acquisition training for PLWHAS, especially as it relates to women development and training.”