Kwara transit nature linked to AIDS prevalence

Kwara state AIDS Control Agency (KWASACA) has said that the transit nature of the state has made AIDS pandemic to be prevalent in most rural communities of the state.

Speaking with journalists on this year’s World AIDS day celebration in Ilorin on Wednesday, the programme director of the agency, Dr Seleem Alabi, said the state shared boundaries with South West states such as Ekiti, Osun, Oyo.

The AIDS programme director, who said that the state also shared an international boundary with the Republic of Benin, added that the development had made such rural communities in the Kwara North senatorial district like Kosubosu, Baruten, Gureh, Chikanda, among others prone to spread of the disease.

He said that members of the communities come in contact with immigrants who come and go out of the areas through agripreneurship and socioeconomic activities.

Dr Alabi, however, said that about 900 health facilities, located in rural areas of the state, had been resuscitated to offer AIDS services, ensure identification and administering of drugs to AIDS victims as well as ensure effective campaign against the disease.

He said also said testing to know the status of people is the most effective way to control the HIV/AIDS, adding that it would ensure those that are negative remain negative and those positive take their drugs, receive counselling and not spread the disease.

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The programme director said that HIV/AIDS drugs had the capacity to extend the life of victims as long as 44 years, especially with adequate counselling.

Also speaking, the deputy governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, who is also the chairman of the agency, said the state has a one per cent HIV prevalence rate, even below national average rate of 1.5 per cent, adding that the feat would be a basis for more efforts, such as eradicating mother to child transmission of the virus and ensuring attainment of zero new infection.

The deputy governor, who talked on the theme of the celebration; Communities make the difference: Kwara state on HIV/AIDS response said it emphasized the direction of the state government in empowering all stakeholders in the fight against HIV pandemic in the state.

“We have tried to resuscitate moribund health system met on ground and also give strong support to critical interventions like curbing the spread of HIV pandemic in Kwara state”, he said.