THE ondo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (ODSACA) has called for sustained, proactive and multifaceted participation of all relevant stakeholders to end the menace of HIV/AIDS in the state.
Secretary to the state government, Dr. Aderotimi Adelola, made this known during the 2016 semester bi-annual state meeting of the Agency for the Control of AIDS/Local Action Committee on AIDS and stakeholders (SACA/LACA/CSOs/LM) held in Akure.
Adelola, who is also chairman, ODSACA, said the efforts of the state government had reduced HIV prevalence rate from 2.3 per cent to 1.6 per cent, which he noted was below the National HIV prevalence of 3.0%.
Speaking to stakeholders at the meeting, Adelola echoed the state’s HIV/AIDS Vision 20-20-20 to reach zero per cent prevalence in the state.
As part of efforts to stem HIV in the state, he listed efforts of the state government to include the provision of sustainable and high technology medical equipment, as well as heamotology analyzers, chemical chemistry analyzers and CD4 machine to provide care and support for people living with HIV virus.
Corroborating his view, the Project Manager, ODSACA, Dr. Dayo Adegbulu, described the HIV scourge as a collective challenge that required a collective responsibility to stem down. He appealed to stakeholders to strengthen the relationship among them in order to record a laudable and balanced result in the nearest future.
In his remarks, chairman, Ondo House of Assembly Committee on MDGs, Mr. Tuyi Adetimehin, urged as many states that were yet to pass the anti stigmatisation bill to ensure its passage, in order to possess a structure and legal document to coordinate response towards reducing new HIV infections, providing equitable care and mitigating the impact of the infection.
Similarly, the coordinator of the Civil Societies for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Ondo State Chapter, Chief Pius Komolafe, appealed to government, at all levels, to aggressively enforce the anti-stigma law and interpret it into different languages, in order to enhance the efforts of the civil societies in the fight against the scourge.
He assured that non-governmental organisations would always support the agency as a way of achieving success in a determined zero new HIV infection; no stigmatization, no discrimination and zero HIV related death, set goals.