Delta records 0.7% prevalence on HIV/AIDS reduction

•As group wants speedy passage of Bill

The need for Delta  State to expedite actions in setting up an agency for the control of HIV/AIDS has been stressed as it is the only state yet to do so.

The call becomes imperative as a non-governmental organisation in the state is pushing for the speedy passage of an executive Bill on the agency, before the state House of Assembly.

Executive Director of Koyenum Immalah Foundation KIF, Faith Nwadishi, at a media and legislative roundtable, in collaboration with the State Action Committee on Aids (SACA), in Asaba, to reconsider the legal pursuit of the state government in establishing the agency, said it gladdened the heart that the state had achieved 0.7 per cent prevalence HIV/AIDS reduction which he said should be surpassed.

Faith Nwadishi noted the exploitation of HIV patients in the state who paid for Anti retroviral drugs in government hospitals whereas they were to be dispensed free.

She urged the state health management board to urgently intervene in the matter, adding that the economic downturn was complicating cases of such patients.

Project manager of KIF, Hope Nwadishi, reeled out the achievements of the group in five of the twenty five local government areas in the state in the past twenty years where advocacy visits, baseline surveys, among others, were carried out on HIV/AIDS. The local government areas are Ndokwa West, Isoko North, Aniocha North, Udu and Ukwani.

According to the manager, budgets for AIDS control in the state have dwindled drastically from N250m in 2015 appropriation to N15m in 2016.

Speakers at the roundtable were of the view that since donors for HIV/AIDS control were withdrawing, there was the need for agencies to generate funds while government should prioritise their budget towards the control of  the scourge.