By CrossRiverWatch Admin
200,000 people are currently living with the HIV virus in Cross River state state and only 30,000 of those are receiving treatment.
This disclosure was made Friday December 1, as Cross River State joined the rest of the World to mark the 2017 World AIDS day.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, who stood in for governor Ben Ayade, led other members of the state executive council, top government functionaries, stakeholders in the State health sector, development partners, school children and youth volunteers on a sensitization walk against HIV and AIDS in Calabar.
Speaking during the walk, Dr. Asibong, noted that since the first case and break out of HIV/AIDS in the world 35 years ago, about 78 million people have been infected and 35 million people have died of HIV related cases in Nigeria.
“We have about 3.1 million people currently living with HIV/AIDS and Cross River State is the fifth state on the list of prevalence in HIV/AIDS just behind Akwa Ibom State, Benue, Anambra and Imo States so we have alot of work to do.
“Under his (Ayade) leadership, the State Health Insurance Scheme also known as AYADECARE will be launched on the 15th December, 2017 which is a plus to the fight against HIV and AIDS.”
In her remarks the Director General of Cross River State Agency for Control of AIDS (CRSACA), Mrs. Rosemary Nyambi said the event is to create awareness and advocate to the people to be aware of the dangerous HIV/AIDS epidemic in Cross River State and across the country.
She said the State Government, Development Partners, CSOs and other stakeholders have made progress towards achieving the UNAID 90:90:90 target by ensuring HIV prevention and treatment services are available and close to homes who really need them in the communities.
Earlier, the DG of the state Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu, said the state government has done so well in instituting the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS in all our rural communities which will protect unborn children.
According to her more needs to be done in the area of information dissemination in our rural areas.
She called on all partners working in the field to do more to prevent Cross River State from going back on the gains in the fight against the deadly virus.
She said the state must devise a means of taking this message beyond the urban cities to rural areas as the people need to understand the importance of protecting themselves and protecting the nation from HIV and AIDS.
Speaking, FHI360 Program Manager, Henry Ayuk, added that more than 200,000 Cross Riverians are living with the virus, and only 30,000 are under treatment.
The road walk which started at Rabana roundabout and ended at the Christmas Village, Calabar Municipal compound, also witnessed the distribution of state branded condoms, free testing and counselling on HIV/AIDS.
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