The Federal Government says it will begin the implementation of HIV/AIDS survey in Kogi in the next seven weeks through its HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS).
Dr Terfa Kene, a member of NAIIS Technical Committee and Team Lead, disclosed this at a meeting with the relevant stakeholders held on Friday in Lokoja.
“We are in Kogi to create awareness about the survey we are conducting in the next seven weeks to know the current situation of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis in the state.
“We want to be sure of where we are, but what is certain is that people are no longer dying of HIV/AIDS like before because drugs are available.
“We need to know the exact situation of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria so that we can plan appropriately and get people to access the services we have within the state,” Kene said.
He added that the survey would be population based to interview some selected households and talk to them, take their blood samples to confirm their HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis status.
He, therefore, urged people, media, religious and traditional leaders, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and relevant stakeholders to create adequate awareness,adding that the implementation would begin in seven weeks’ time.
“We are hopeful the survey will be a successful outing in Kogi,” Kene said.
Mr Tahiru Musa, the NAIIS Zonal Coordinator in charge of North-Central, called for the cooperation of the relevant stakeholders across the state so that the project would not fail.
“The Federal Government and international partners have packaged a robust programme that will help to get the near exact situation of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
“We must show more responsibility as people because the international donors are waiting for the outcome to render their assistance,” Musa said.
Dr Saka Audu, Kogi Commissioner for Health, represented by Mr Mohammed Abubakar, Assistant Director, Administration, of the ministry, commended the Federal Government for the initiative and assured NAIIS team of the state government’s support.
“We have a health-friendly governor who has put lots of resources into the sector and also collaborating with donor agencies for effective healthcare delivery to the people of Kogi,” he said.
Audu enjoined the people to come out en masse and participate in the exercise, to enable the state to continue to enjoy more intervention from international partners and the Federal Government.
Mr Williams Sahaibu, Project Manager, Kogi State Agency for the Control HIV/AIDS (KOSACA), said that all the 21 local government areas in the state would be involved with some selected households.
“We are already sensitising people to be aware and also know the benefits attached to the project which will be population based. KOSACA will ensure the success of the project in Kogi,” Shaibu said