An NGO and an Implementing Partner for HIV/AIDS programmes — Achieving Health Nigeria Initiative, AHNi, on Friday, announced plans to capture and place 22,000 unidentified persons living with HIV on drugs in Nasarawa State.
The group made this known at the end of a five-day workshop in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, to develop 2020 Annual Operational Plan on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, STD.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that AHNi is one of the IPs supporting the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS in the state.
It is an indigenous non-profit affiliate organisation of Family Health International, FHI 360, registered in Nigeria in 2009.
It aims to provide technical assistance to the government and people of Nigeria in the implementation of public health and development programmes.
Dr Terfa Kene, the Institutional Capacity Strengthening Adviser of AHNi in charge of North-Central, said the group was working to identity the 22,000 persons living with the virus but failed to avail themselves for testing.
He added that once such persons were identified, tested and placed on drugs, it would go a long way in stopping the spread of the scourge.
He said, “if we are able to stop the spread, it means that we are moving toward achieving zero per cent spread”.
Mr Kene, therefore, appealed to those who knew their status to come out to access drugs and desist from self-inflicted stigmatisation.
He also appealed to the public, especially health personnel, to avoid disclosing peoples’ status to the public.
Olukunle Daramola, the Zonal Team Leader of AHNi North-Central, said the workshop was aimed at developing the 2020 plan to tackle HIV scourge in Nasarawa State.
He said that with the strategic plan for 2020, areas of challenges and difficult terrains that needed more attention would be given priority “to see that HIV is eventually tackled in the state.
“With this, we will know where to intervene more through sensitisation, drugs and partnership with other stakeholders toward ending the spread of HIV in the state and even beyond.
The Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, Ahmed Yahaya, had at the opening ceremony of the workshop announced that government would boost the fight with N1.8 billion.