The Akwa Ibom State Government in partnership with FHI 360 under the Strengthening Integrated Delivery of HIV/AIDS Services (SIDHAS) project is set to conduct the first ever Akwa Ibom State AIDS Indicator Survey (AKAIS).
The survey, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development ,is aimed at generating precise data to describe the HIV epidemic in Akwa Ibom as well as estimate the unmet need for HIV interventions in the state. The survey outcome will also help the government and its stakeholders to plan how best to address and find solutions to the problem of HIV & AIDS in communities, LGAs and in the state generally.
Akwa Ibom was chosen by The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in conjunction with FMOH and Akwa Ibom State authorities as one of its focus states for scaling up HIV prevention and control strategies. However, data that could be used to guide this scale up had significant gaps and was limited for planning purposes. The survey is therefore intended to fill these gaps and provide a sound evidence base to guide and inform specific strategies for scaling up HIV prevention and control interventions in Akwa Ibom state.
In press statement released by FHI 369, the survey activities have been scheduled to start on April 1, 2017 and run for a period of about one month in all the 31 LGAs of the state. The activities of the survey will involve HIV counselling and testing. It testing will be conducted under strict confidentiality. For the testing, blood samples will be collected by trained personnel from members of households. A representative sample of 3,257 households and 16,936 individuals including 7,791 children will be interviewed across all 31 LGAs. The sampled households have been previously mapped based on National Population Commission’s enumeration areas in each LGA.
To successfully drive this initiative, an effective survey management structure made up of highly competent personnel and experts has been put in place by the government and its stakeholders. The state survey management committee is led by the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health (SMOH) and is responsible for providing overall administrative oversight in the process. This committee will receive technical support from the Akwa Ibom State Agency for the Control of AIDS (AKSACA), FHI 360 and relevant civil society organization (CSO) networks including the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) and Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (CISHAN)
This survey is a shared responsibility and everyone has a part to play to ensure the success of the process. It is therefore expected that everyone in the state actively participates in and encourages other community members to accept and participate in the activities of AKAIS.