Edo State Government has expressed worry over the high prevalence rate of 4.1 percent of the state’s population, against the 3.4 percent of the national rate.
The Executive Director of the State Agency for the Control of AIDS (SACA), Mrs. Florence Oyakhilome-Edemode, gave the hint on Tuesday in Benin, during an interaction with journalists.
She said: “As at 2012, when we came on board, the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in Edo State was 5.3 percent, but with the implementation of intervention programmes put in place by the state government, such as empowerment of about 20 organisations with grants, by 2014 survey, the prevalence rate has dropped significantly to 4.1 percent of the state’s population.
“That is still worrisome because it is still higher than the national prevalence rate of over 3 percent. That is why we are worried. But all hands are on deck to ensure that we get to zero percent.”
Oyakhilome-Edemode disclosed thay plans have been concluded by the agency to embark on aggressive sensitization enlightenment in rural communities across the three senatorial districts of the State, on safe sexual relationship especially among youths and using unsafe sharp objects.
She added that with the constitution of the board of the agency by the State Governor, the right structure and enabling environment put in place, the state is moving towards attaining zero percent.
It would be recalled that the Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, had in August, 2017, during a visit to the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, disclosed that a total of 173,600 persons were living with the HIV/AIDs virus in the state.
Adewole, who made reference to the 2016 statics, also disclosed that only 25,730 persons living with the virus were on anti-retroviral treatment.