The Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Malaria (BACATMA), on Tuesday, revealed that the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the state has dropped to 0.4 from the 6.8 percent it was in 2012.
The revelation was made in Bauchi by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Danladi Mohammed, when the agency received a delegation of EU-UN Mission Monitoring under UNAIDS, which was in the state to monitor implementation programmes in 15 states, including Bauchi State.
According to Mohammed, “In 2012, the prevalent rate was 6.8 percent but in 2018, statistics revealed that the prevalent rate has dropped to 0.4.”
He informed that the BACATMA procured 80,000 HIV tests kits and distributed same across health facilities in the state, adding that the EU-UN project was conducted in Bauchi and Katagum Local Government Areas of the state.
On his part, the Executive Chairman, BACATMA, Dr Sani Mohammed Dambam, commended the EU-UN under the UNAIDS joint basket funds, saying that they had really complemented his agency’s efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS in the state.
Speaking earlier, the Director, Community Prevention and Care at the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Alex Ogundipe, commended the Bauchi State Government for its efforts in controlling HIV/AIDS in the state.
He noted that Bauchi State is the only state in Nigeria that has HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria under one agency in line with international best practice.
Ogundipe said NACA was impressed with the state’s performance in the implementation of the EU-UN under the UNAIDS joint basket funds project, which he said was in line with donor agencies’ expectations and called on other states to emulate the Bauchi State performance.
In her presentation, Deputy Director, Community Prevention and Care Services, Mrs. Yinka Falola -Anoemuah, informed that a total of 310 people living with HIV/AIDS in Bauchi State benefitted from Covid-19 palliative and personal protection equipment (PPE) during the outbreak of the pandemic under the NACA-UNAIDS Joint UN Basket Fund project.
According to her, the project was conducted in 15 states of the federation to cushion the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).
She added that the project also mobilised PLWHA on prevention of Covid-19, gender based violence and HIV as well as access to vaccines, which she said was part of the objectives of the project being funded through the joint basket fund.
She informed that the 310 beneficiaries from Bauchi State were part of the 9,770 PLWHA across the country who got the sum of N25,000 each in two tranches of N10,000 and N15,000.
“Nine thousand, seven hundred and seventy people living with HIV/AIDS were supported during the Covid-19 pandemic in 15 states across the country. They were given the sum of N25,000 within six months to all the beneficiaries in two trenches of N10, 000 and N15, 000.
“The monitoring exercise provided a platform to interact with beneficiaries and get feedback on the outcomes of the intervention. From their testimonies, beneficiaries supported their children’s education and also started up small trades,” Falola-Anoemuah said
According to her, the beneficiaries were integrated into the national social register as vulnerable members of the society.
Meanwhile, an official of the EU, Ms Chioma Soji, said that the delegation on monitoring exercise was in the state with a view to generating feedback for future programming and planning of such interventions
2021 World AIDS Day: Nigeria battles disease after 35 years of first case
Since the first case of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, was detected in Lagos State in 1986, Nigeria and other countries of the world have continued to battle the disease which has remained a global heath challenge.
According to the World Health Organization, WHO, HIV, since its first case was recorded in Congo in the 1920s has claimed over 36.3 million lives across the world while about 37.7 million are still living with the disease as it continues to be a major global public health issue.
DAILY POST recalls that the United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime, UNODC, had in 2019, ranked Nigeria as the third among countries with the highest burden of HIV infection in the world.
Over 1.9 million Nigerians are currently living with the virus across the country. The UN agency has also revealed that HIV and AIDS are far more prevalent among those in prisons and high-risk drug users, particularly people who inject drugs (PWIDs).
A recent UNODC study on HIV prevalence in Nigerian prisons and on drug use in the country has revealed that 2.8% of inmates and 9% of people who inject drugs (PWIDs) are living with HIV/AIDS.
The WHO, in a statement on Monday called on African countries to put more efforts in reducing new infections, lamenting that the continent in 2020, recorded highest cases in the world.
The statement which was issued by the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti to mark the 2021 World AIDS Day, revealed that the virus claims about 1,300 lives in Africa everyday.
The statement reads in part, “We cannot afford to lose focus on the urgent need to end the inequities that drive AIDS and other epidemics around the world. It has been 40 years since the first HIV cases were reported. Yet, in Africa and globally, it remains a major public health concern.
“Last year, two out of every three new HIV infections occurred in the African Region, corresponding to almost 2 500 new HIV infections every day. Sadly, AIDS claimed the lives of 460 000 people, or a shocking 1 300 every day, in spite of free access to effective treatment”.
DAILY POST recalls that the Director-General of National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu, had assured that the Federal Government of Nigeria is working assiduously and hopeful to ensure the end of HIV/AIDS transmission by 2024.
Speaking while declaring open a five-day Capacity Strengthening of Key and Vulnerable Populations in Access to HIV Services Efficiency in Sokoto a few months ago, Aliyu noted that Nigeria had recorded great successes and ranked among the five countries with minimum challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, “Nigeria is working toward ending the transmission of HIV/AIDS in the next three years, which is 2024, less than the targeted year of 2030 by the UN.”
COVID-19: Nigeria announces first case of Omicron variant
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has confirmed two cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant in the country.
A statement signed by the NCDC Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa said the two cases were discovered through genomic sequencing.
Adetifa said the cases were detected in two passengers who came into the country from South Africa, adding the patients were asymptomatic and contact tracing had begun.
”Genomic sequencing of positive cases from routine day two testing for travellers to Nigeria identified two cases of Omicron variant among travellers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria last week.
“Retrospective sequencing of previously confirmed cases among travelers to Nigeria also identified the omicron variant among samples collected in October 2021”, he added.
Omicron: Nigerian govt to issue new travel protocol this Tuesday
The Federal Government has said it will release a new travel protocol on Tuesday, as a proactive measure to prevent the Omicron COVID-19 variant from entering Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the National Incident Manager of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Mukhtar Muhammad, during a media briefing on Monday.
The index case of Omicron was detected on November 23 in South Africa.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has since designated Omicron as a “variant of concern”.
Muhammad noted that although no case of the variant has been detected in Nigeria, the PSC has taken “far-reaching proactive measures to minimise and mitigate this possibility.
“Consequently, the PSC will be issuing a travel guideline document tomorrow, but let me highlight the contents of this travel guideline.
“Passengers arriving in the country are required to do a PCR test 48 hours before departing. They will also do day two and day seven PCR tests on arrival and they will be required to self-isolate for seven days.
“Passengers that are outbound, going out of Nigeria, will be required to either show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or provide a negative PCR test taken 48 hours before departure. These conditions apply to diplomats as well. The measures will come into effect by Friday, 3rd of December, 2021.
“The PSC will ensure that there is enforcement of passengers who arrive and refuse to take tests through suspension of their passports and prosecution, or both. Furthermore, we’ll be increasing our surveillance at the ports of entry into the country, intensifying testing and contact tracing, and optimizing sequencing capacity.”
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