1.7 million Nigerians are HIV positive – NACA by Babajide Omojuwa

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) said it has identified 1.7 million out of 1.9 million Nigerians living with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).

NACA’s Director of Community Prevention, Care and Support Services, Alex Ogundipe told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Wednesday that 1.7 million afflicted had been enrolled for treatment.

“Our mandate is to identify people living with the virus; there are supposed to be about 1.9 million Nigerians.

“It is our responsibility to identify and enroll all of them for care and I believe we are doing well because we have identified 1.7 million of them.

“NACA is on the right path in terms of its mandate to coordinate activities on HIV response.

“You must be objective on how you rate or assess yourself. You must ask: is the assessment from the eyes of those who give you money, those of beneficiaries of your services or those other partners?

“These are the criteria we check once in a while to help fine-tune our services,” he said.

On the moribund nature of State Agencies for the control of AIDS (SACA), Mr Ogundipe said SACA was not a branch of NACA as they belonged to states.

He said it was the responsibility of NACA to train, guide and give policy direction to SACA officials, but that it was left for the state governments to fund them and ensure they carried out HIV response services.

(NAN)

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