The National Agency for Control of Aids (NACA) said on Tuesday that it would sample 88, 000 households in the country, in its latest Nigeria Aids Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS).
Dr Sani Aliyu, Director-General, NACA, who disclosed this when the agency paid an advocacy visit to the Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Bahago, said the survey would have people tested for HIV and hepatitis.
Aliyu, represented by Dr Alex Ogundipe, Director, Community Prevention and Care Support Services in the agency, said that the sample size of 88, 000 was the biggest any country had ever used.
“Globally, this is the biggest sample size that any country has ever used. It is going to give us the best guess estimate, and it is based on scientific methodology.
“Before now, what we used to test across the country before we come up with the prevalence rate was less than 4,000.
“So, for us to go up to 88, 000 households, it means that is big enough a sample size to represent Nigeria,” he said.
The director-general said that the survey, which would commence in two weeks’ time, would ensure that the agency spends far less on curtailing HIV and hepatitis.
According to him, a lot of money had been wasted in the past on drug procurement.
“We’ve been wasting a lot of drugs worth millions; we procure these drugs and we cannot find the people that need them.
“But by the time we complete this survey, we would know the accurate number of those infected, and not over-buy drugs,” he said.
Aliyu said that whoever tested positive would be linked up with the nearest facility, where they could access free treatment.
“Whoever we test and is positive will linked up with the nearest facility, where they can access treatment and that treatment will be free.
“For hepatitis, government is working on the treatment to ensure that they also access free treatment like in HIV.”
According to him, traditional and religious leaders are critical to the success of the project, hence, the visit to the emir.
“We are very grateful to the emir who has mandated all the traditional rulers under him to give us the necessary support.
“We are engaging them because the programme belongs to the people,” he said.
Newsmen report that 2,464 households would be sampled for the exercise in Niger.