May 8, 2021

HIV/AIDS prevention: Belemaoil donates 74, 600 test kits to A’ Ibom

HIV/AIDS: Nigeria pledges $12m to Global Fund



By Chioma Onuegbu Uyo

BELEMAOIL company has donated 74,600 test HIV/AIDS capacity test kits to Akwa Ibom State as part of its efforts to support and continue the fight against the infection in the state and across the Niger Delta region.

The deputy Managing Director, of the company, Mr Collins Amadi who spoke weekend in Uyo said the company’s partnership with the United States Agency for International Development ( USAID) aims at advancing the control method of HIV infection in all parts of the country.

Amadi expressed the hope that the partnership will achieve the desired objectives and also galvanise the consciousness of the private sector to support related programmes that will engender a health society.

He stressed, “As a young, indigenous, oil producing company, we consider it a privilege to be part of the global effort to combat the scourge of HIV/AIDS in the area of early prevention which can degenerate to an advanced stage if not addressed at an early stage.

“The Belemaoil”s model is anchored on the principle of mutual wealth creation. We prioritize the health care needs and exponential of our people is very key and vital to achieving the much needed wealth and prosperity for our host communities and other communities in the Niger Delta, and Nigeria in general,”

While handing over the kits to Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, Secrtary to the State Government (SSG) the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, explained that test kits would support USAID’S HIV/AIDS eradication efforts in Akwa Ibom.

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She commended  the strides made by the Akwa Ibom State Government in the last two years to control the spread of HIV/AIDS , adding that the contributions of Belemaoil to USAID shows the importance of the private sector in partnering to fighting the disease.

“The test kits, with a testing capacity of 74,600, will support prevention of mother-to-child transmission services within antenatal clinics and provide critical HIV testing services to numerous young children and others who are at risk.

“Even with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Akwa Ibom, with USAID’S support, has made remarkable progress in its efforts to eradicate the epidemic.

“The number of people receiving lifesaving HIV treatment in the state has increased from 19 percent to 82 percent, with 35,000 people in 2019 to over 156,000 in 2021,”  Leonard said.

In his remarks,  the SSG who pointed out that if everyone were to take HIV/AIDS as serious as COVID-19, the disease would have been tamed, disclosed that the many cases of the infection was found among those living along the shoreline of Akwa Ibom state.

He emphasized that the state government will continue to partner with USAID and other implementation partners to fight the scourge in the state.

“The Governor of Akwa Ibom State knows that without a healthy population, there can be no socio-economic development and growth. He is very convinced of this. He promised that in one of every federal constituency, there will be one very well equipped and very well manned general hospital.

” And he is working assiduously at having the University Teaching Hospital to be part of the Faculty of Medicine, Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU). Nobody should treat this malady with levity, it is as serious as it is. There should be no superstitions about it and all hands should be on deck to make sure that this malady is tamed,” he stated.