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Over 44,000 persons live with HIV in Taraba



From VICTOR GAI, Jalingo

GOVERNOR Darius Ishaku of Taraba State has disclosed that over forty four thousand persons are living with Human Immuno Deficiency Syndrome HIV/AIDS in the state.

The Governor made the disclosure when he received a delegation from the United States Embassy led by Charge de Affairs Kathleen Fitzgibon at the Government House Jalingo.

He revealed that based on recent assessment, there are over forty thousand more HIV positive individuals that needed to be identified and placed on treatment.

Governor  Ishaku  made known his achievements recorded in the health sector to include reduction of HIV prevalence from 10.5 percent in 2012 to 2.9 percent in 2018, recruitment of 402 health workers including consultants, medical officers, nurses and midwives.

Others are Covid-19 response Molecular Laboratories equipped for confirmation and monitoring of Covid-19 patients, construction of TACA Office Complex, upgrade of health office facilities with good working environment for staff.

The governor told the team that the State has made significant progress in the fight against hepatitis and Covid 19, appealing to them to expand the scope of their operation to cover tuberculosis.

He assured them of his support to enable them carry out their activities successfully in the State.

Commenting, Charge De Affairs of the US Embassy in Nigeria, Kathleen Fitzgibon, said there is every need to identify those that are HIV positive in order to place them on treatment.

She spoke against stigmatization of persons with HIV in the society maintaining that the disease is no longer transferable from mother to child, especially when mothers are on treatment.

The Charge De Affairs said they are going to work with different groups in the State to effectively carry out the assignment of fighting HIV/AIDS in the State in no distant time.

Earlier, Director General, National Action Committee on AIDS NACA, Gambo Aliyu, said they were in Taraba state to mark the beginning of another phase of partnership with the State Government to rid the State of HIV/AIDS.

The NACA boss expressed confidence in the three equipped General hospitals and the over 150 established in the State to fight the disease which would be a model for other states to copy.

He emphasized that HIV/AIDS has no cure and vaccine hence the need for the citizens to go for testing and those found to be positive to be placed on drugs.

The US team and partners are expected to visit some health facilities and also have interface with stakeholders in the state.

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