Ike Uchechukwu – Calabar
Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, said on Sunday the state was not safe despite the declaration of 2 percent HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the state by the National AIDS Indicator Survey.
Ayade disclosed this during a walk to commemorate the World AIDS Day in Calabar, saying the national rate was 1.9 percent.
The governor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Health, Dr. Joseph Bassey, said efforts should be intensified to reduce the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the state.
He said: “This year, at the release of the National Indicator Survey, Cross River had a prevalence rate of just 2 percent. The National rate is 1.9 percent.
“Cross River is not safe because we are surrounded by states that have a high prevalence. We also have the risk of the Cameroonian refugees that are coming in with their own addition.
“Let everyone know that it is only us that can make the difference; that is why the 2019 theme is ‘Communities Makes the Difference.”
He urged the people of the state to see it as a duty in ensuring that the prevalence is brought down so that the state can be rated at less than one percent in the next survey.
On his part, a member of the state House of Assembly, Dr. Ekpo Ekpo-Bassey, said that HIV/AIDS has a negative impact on Nigerians.
He said consistent advocacy and sensitisation had greatly reduced the HIV/AIDS prevalence level in the state to 2 percent.
According to him, more sensitisation should be done in order to have a zero prevalence rate in the state.
“Cross River is looking at achieving zero percent HIV/AIDS prevalence rate. This walk is very important and we must take the message to our people that are not here,” the lawmaker said.