By Archibong Jeremiah
The Director General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA Professor John Idoko has revealed that though officially, the agency is still holding on to the 4.1% prevalent rate as at 2010, the M and A (Management and Administration) is working hard to conclude a research and publish a report that will show that the prevalent rate of HIV/AIDS in the country is now “below 2.0%”.
Professor Idoko made the disclosure recently in Calabar at the flagging off of a multi disease medical outreach program in Calabar, Cross River State.
While speaking, he revealed that the program is simultaneously going on in other States of the federation and disclosed that support from donor agencies to fight against the scourge is going down.
The outreach which included testing of blood sugar, blood pressure and malaria with free drugs distribution was described as a necessity by the DG NACA who was represented by a Deputy Director, Mrs. Nne Uwa.
She urged the beneficiaries to embrace the opportunity while admonishing those who tested positive not to think it’s the end of the world.
Also, the member representing Calabar Municipality/Odukpani Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Etta Mbora called on NACA to do all within their reach to ensure that the people are tested and educated.
He vowed to ensure that the House of Representatives support NACA financially with legislative backing to help them drive their agenda.
Etta Mbora represented by Mr. Solomon Asuquo called on his constituents to make sure that they come out and get tested to ensure that they are healthy.
On his part, the Chairman Calabar Municipality, Mr. Donatus Etim said “health is wealth, which is what necessitates voluntary programs like this.”
The Municipality Council Chairman represented by his Vice, Dr. Caro Etim maintained that “success is our wish” advising the NACA team to put in their best in doing their job as well as calling on those who will be given drugs to adhere to instruction.
He promised to always make sure that at all times his office maintains good relationship with all and sundry involved in the struggle to eradicate HIV/AIDS in the State.
On her part, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong while speaking said the prevalence rate of the dreaded HIV/AIDS cases in the State as at today stands at “about 6.6% before now it was 7.1%; we are trying there’s still room for improvement”.
After expressing support for the outreach program, she disclosed that her administration has a cadre of dedicated hands on deck to ensure that the health system in the State gets better than what it is.
She concluded by calling on everyone to embrace the opportunities provided by such free outreach programs because they are helpful.
The event also featured free distribution of mosquito nets and other items.
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