By David Odama
Worried by the increasing spate of HIV/AIDs, An implementing partner, Achieving Health Nigeria Initiative (AHNi) is working to identify about 22, 000 unidentified and discover HIV infected persons in Nasarawa State.
The move is to enable the implementing partners to support the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS and to provide the needed drugs to the affected persons in the state.
The partners disclosed this Friday at the end of a five-day workshop to develop 2020 annual operational plan on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) in Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
The Institutional Capacity Strengthening Advisor of AHNi in charge of North-Central, Dr Terfa Kene said they are working to identify the 22, 000 HIV infected persons who have refused to make themselves available for test and treatment.
According to him, once such persons are identified, tested and placed on drugs, it would go a long way in reducing the spread of the scourge in Nasarawa state.
“If we are able to stop to spread of the scourge, it means that we are moving towards achieving a zero per cent spread,” he added.
He, therefore, called on the infected persons to desist from self-inflicted stigmatisation and appealed to members of the public especially health personnel to stop discrimination against them by not disclosing their status.
On his part, Zonal Team Lead, AHNi North-Central, Olukunle Daramola explained that the workshop was aimed at developing the 2020 plan to tackle HIV scourge in Nasarawa State.
He said that with this strategic plan for 2020, areas of challenges and difficult terrains that need more attention would be given priority to see that HIV is eventually tackling in the state.
“With this, we will nowhere to intervene more through sensitisation, drugs and partnership with other stakeholders towards ending the spread of HIV in the state,” Daramola added.
It would be recalled that during the opening ceremony of the workshop on Monday, Ahmed Yahaya, Commissioner of Health had said the state government would boost the fight with N1.8 billion.
The Commissioner was represented at the occasion by Ishaku Abari, Permanent Secretary of the ministry.
The fight against HIV in Nasarawa State is also supported by other agencies such as Global Fund, Catholic Relief Services among others.