HIV/AIDS: LASG RESTATES COMMITMENT TO THE REALIZATION OF GLOBAL PREVENTION COALITION

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Dr. Monsurat Adeleke

 Oladayo Asanbe

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lagos State Aids Control Agency (LSACA), has restated the commitment of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to the realization  of the Global Prevention Coalition  targeted at reducing new infection of HIV/AIDS by 75% in the year 2020 and the UNAIDS eradication of new infection by 2030.

Adeleke made this disclosure recently at the grand opening of a One-Stop-Shop for equitable spread and access to quality HIV services in the State at Ipakodo-Ebute in Ikorodu.

In her remarks, she said the One-Stop-Shop is opened in partnership with Heartland Alliance Nigeria Limited by Guarantee (HALG), a Non-Governmental Organisation, which is a member of the State HIV consortium, and has been providing support in the area of HIV prevention and treatment, particularly for People with Diversity, for over a decade in the State.

The organisation is a member of the State HIV consortium inaugurated by the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on 27th November, 2019. It is stanched to the attainment of HIV/AIDS epidemic control amongst the People with Diversity in the State.

While explaining the need for the 8th One-Stop-Shop in the State, Adeleke noted that the 2014 Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance Survey (IBBSS) findings showed that People with Diversity have a high HIV prevalence, thus, the need to provide HIV/AIDS interventions for these important groups in the population.

“In a bid to ensure effective HIV service coverage for the People with Diversity in the Global Funds supported LGAs (Ikorodu, Isolo and Epe), the Agency granted HALG approval to Scale-up its HIV services for the People with Diversity in the three LGAs. This brings the total number of LGAs that HALG is currently implementing to 13 in the State. The LGAs include: Agege, Somolu, Surulere, Kosofe, Lagos Mainland, Apapa, Lagos Island, Ojo, Ajeromi, Badagary, Epe, Oshodi and Ikorodu”, Adeleke said.

Adeleke averred that LSACA and the State Ministry of Health will continue to work closely with various stakeholders to achieve the target of attaining the Global eradication of New HIV infection by the year 2030 through the UNAIDS 90-90-90 Initiative which stipulates that 90% of people living with the virus should know their status, 90% of HIV positive individuals should be initiated on antiretroviral (ART) drugs, 90% of individuals on antiretroviral (ART) drugs should achieve viral suppression.

In his goodwill message, the Director General, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Dr. Gambo Aliyu, represented by the Director, Community Prevention, Care and Support Services, NACA, Mr. Alex Ogundipe, said the One-Stop-Shop model which Heartland Alliance Nigeria adopted has effectively increased uptake of prevention and linkage to treatment in more conducive settings that protect the privacy and upholds the dignity of key populations.

He, therefore, urged all stakeholders to invest more time, political will, legal aid and funding in order to fully saturate the communities with culturally effective and client centered quality HIV services in Nigeria.

The CEO, HALG, Mr. Ochonye Bartholomew, while expressing gratitude and appreciation to the government, said HALG has continuously enjoyed technical and commodity supports from the Ministry of Health (LSMOH) and LSACA under the Leadership of the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi and CEO, Dr. Monsurat Adeleke respectively.  He said HALG has received large quantity of HIV Rapid Test Kits including Oral self-test kits from LSACA.

Bartholomew also disclosed that under the KP-CARE 1 project, HALG has provided prevention intervention services to 48,116 People with Diversity, Offered 43,961 with HIV Testing Services (HTS), identified and initiated 4,794 newly identified HIV positive People with Diversity on treatment and currently, the organization has 8641 People with Diversity cumulatively on treatment.        

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