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Participants at the workshop
By Akanji Alowolodu, Bauchi
The Federal Ministry of Health and Development Partners have been called to as a matter of urgency establish a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Centre in Bauchi State.
The call was made by the Commissioner of Health, Dr Adamu Umar Sambo while addressing Journalists as part of the activities to commemorate 2023 World AIDS DAY held at the Conference room of BACATMA.
He said that when established, the Center will not only serve the good people of Bauchi State but also the neighbouring States assuring also that the state will ensure efficient utilization of resources, and bring to life, the principle of value-for-money across all Programmes and Funding Streams.
The Commissioner disclosed that the World AIDS Day is an event to reflect on where “we have been, where we are and where we wish to be in our efforts to end AIDS in the State, Nigeria and the entire world.”
He added that, “it is also a Day to remember the devastating effects of HIV to our lives including those who died as a result of HIV, those who are living with the disease as well as those who are affected by the disease either directly (their families) or indirectly (in which everyone of us is affected because of the negative health, social and economic consequences).”
“It is also a Day whereby Political Leaders across the globe are expected to make more pledges in their commitments to eliminate the disease,” he stressed.
According to him, “the Year 2030 was set for the elimination of HIV in the world by the WHO (95-95-95). The Global Strategies aimed at eliminating HIV by the Year 2030”
It hinges on the success of three targets areas which includes: Identifying 95% of the estimated number of people living with HIV through robust HIV testing services, Enrolling 95% of those tested positive on treatment and Ensuring that 95% of those on treatment achieved viral load suppression.
Adamu Sambo who was represented by the Executive Secretary of BACATMA, Dr Gamawa said that, “Going by the Global Theme of this year’s World AIDS Day, “Let Communities Lead”, Drawn from it, the Nigerian Theme is tagged, “Community Leadership to Ends AIDS by 20230.”
He said that, “It is time to do much more to put HIV/AIDS response at the center of our Community Agenda in the State which will eliminate all barriers to HIV Prevention, Treatments, Care and Support which is in line with the vision of the Bauchi State Strategic Health Planning and ‘My Bauchi Project’ of Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State.”
He stressed that, “Indeed, every Nigerian and of course those living with HIV have a responsibility to share and exhibit an un-relented solidarity towards mitigating the impact of the scourge of HIV in the State.”
According to him, “Since the first case of HIV was reported in Nigeria in 1986, the State had witnessed its first case in 1998. There was an initial unprecedented rise in the Prevalence Rate of the infection to 6.8% in 2001 which was even higher than the national average of 5.2%.”
He also said that,”In addition, there is improvement in Budgetary Release to the Agency from the Bauchi State Treasury. Let me also use this opportunity to extends our profound appreciations to our Donor Partners who have being supporting the State in the Health Sector in general and HIV/AIDS in particular.”
“The GGHN is our Major Donor Partner that is supporting the State with the Treatment of about 25, 000 HIV Patients, the SFH is supporting in the Area of Key Populations (FSW, MSM, TG and PWID) who are the major drivers of the epidemie numbering over 6, 000 Patients, Pro-Health International (PHI) who are supporting the DVC HIV Patients about 2, 000 (although the drugs are supplied by GGHN while they give socio-economic support) and KNCV which is primarily supporting the State in TB Control,” he disclosed.
The Commissioner added that, “Similarly, we have some CSOs supporting the fight against HIV in the State such as AL-Muhibbah Foundation, Amana Sickle Cell Foundation, NEPHWAN, ALAYABI, PREYA, RHISA, AFRI-HUB. Likewise, the United Nations Organs such as the WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA.”
On the issue of Sustainability, he disclosed that the Governor has mandated BACATMA to liaise with BASHCMA and BETHFund to come out with a blueprint that will take care of the Complete HIV Funding on eventual withdrawal of Donor Partners.
The State is also planning to start generating some revenue from the Certification of the Compulsory Pre-marital Medical Screening which it is currently doing free of charge.
He said, “Remember that the intending couples are otherwise healthy, which will complement the State Government and Donor Funding.”
He added that, “In this Year, as usual, we are marking this Day with series of activities which include but not limited to: Rallies, Medical Out-reaches at Tafawa Balewa and Bununu towns, Advocacy Visits. Press Conference, distribution of food items to some PLWHIV and Health Talks in various media houses.”
The Commissioner concluded saying, “In addition, we are introducing the Training Workshop for 100 Youths and Persons with Special Needs and more importantly the active participation of our mother, the First Lady of Bauchi State, Hajiya (Dr) A’isha Bala Mohammed.”