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25,089 HIV positive persons access treatment in Bauchi – Official

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The Bauchi State Government has said that a total of 25,089 HIV/AIDS positive persons were accessing treatment in a bid to ensure total elimination of the scourge in the state.

Dr Samaila Dahuwa, the state Commissioner for Health, stated this at a news conference to mark the 2021 World AIDS Day, on Tuesday in Bauchi.

Dahuwa said that the 2019 National AIDS Impact Indicator Survey (NAIIS) indicated that 25,587 people were living with the virus in the state.

“About 25,089 of the 25,587 positive living people have been identified and currently placed on treatment.”

“Recent scientific evidence has shown that HIV positive persons that attained a level of viral suppression can no longer transmit the infection to others,” he said.

Dahuwa said that HIV prevalence rate had dropped to 0.4 per cent in 2019 as against 6.8 per cent in 2001.

He said the feat was achieved due to the concerted efforts of the state government, development partners and other stakeholders.

The commissioner identified health system infrastructure, unmet needs for commodities, quality data and human resources for health as obstacles to universal access to HIV/AIDS services in the state.

Dahuwa urged development partners, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and philanthropists to support government effort towards enhancing access to quality healthcare services.

In his remark, Mr Abdullah Ibrahim, Chairman, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Bauchi, advocated for comprehensive training of health personnel on Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMCT) of the virus.

Ibrahim also called for empowerment and livelihood support programme for positive living persons to improve their social and economic status.

Earlier, Dr Sani Dambam, Executive Secretary, Bauchi state Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Malaria (BACATMA), said that most of the funding partners of HIV were either rounding up their projects or exited, hence the need to constitute a domestic resource mobilisation committee.

Dambam said that the Agency was handling infectious diseases and malaria, and developed sustainability strategy on funding amongst others, adding that the committee would develop a road map towards ensuring sustainability of its activities.

Also speaking, Mr Bello Jadori, Chairman, Bauchi State House of Assembly Committee on Health, reiterated the readiness of the legislators to formulate laws and perform oversight functions to ensure that issues of HIV/AIDS were at the fore front of the health system.

Amina Ahmed

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