BAUCHI—No fewer than 41.5 million persons have died as a result of HIV and AIDS epidemic in 2017 worldwide, the World Health Organization, WHO, has said.
A representative of WHO, Akim Bursali, stated this at yesterday’s commemoration of 2017 World AIDS Day, with the theme, “Right to health-making it happen”, organized by wife of Bauchi State governor in collaboration with Bauchi State Agency for the control of HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis/Leprosy and Malaria, BACATMA, in Bauchi.
Bursali said an estimated 36.7 million persons were currently living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues recorded in history.
He added that the death rate of the epidemic has decreased since it peaked in 2005 with one million deaths in 2016, compared to 1.9 million deaths in 2005.
“ We have achieved much in the past 30 years. Today, 21 million persons in the world are receiving anti-retroviral therapy that is enabling them to live full and productive lives.
“If we are to eliminate AIDS and viral hepatitis as public health threats, health services should be adapted to reach and meet the needs of those population most at risk and this includes implementing a zero tolerance policy on stigma and discrimination in all health services,” he said.
In her address on the occasion, wife of the governor and founder of Bauchi Sustainable Women Economic Empowerment peace, B-SWEEP, Hajiya Hadiza Abubakar, said the Bauchi State Government would improve access to HIV services and other infectious diseases, in such a way that each local government would have at least one treatment centre.
She said the state government would collaborate with relevant partners to ensure that the viral load machine was made available in the state to achieve the United Nation Global Vision which is aimed at ending new HIV infections by 2030