*Gombe HIV prevalence rate drops
By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya said his administration remains committed towards optimal control of HIV/AIDS and achieving the target of ending the epidemic by 2030.
This was contained in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Ismaila Uba Misilli.
He made the commitment in a message to mark this year’s World AIDS Day with the global theme “Solidarity, Shared Responsibility” and Nigeria’s adopted theme, ‘United to end AIDS in the midst of COVID-19: Get tested.
Basking on the euphoria of the significant drop in HIV prevalence rate for Gombe state, Governor Yahaya said his administration will continue to provide the necessary political will and financial support to ensure availability of HIV testing kits across health facilities, increase access to HIV services, support for orphan and vulnerable children as well as ensure adequate care for those living with the virus.
The Governor said even as COVID-19 has exacerbated so many health challenges, his administration has remained deeply committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS and the goal of ending the HIV epidemic in Gombe by the year 2030.
He noted that though COVID-19 has been a challenge for many living with or at risk for HIV, the efforts of various stakeholders led by the Gombe State Agency for the Control of Aids, over the past decade and particularly during peak of CoronaVirus pandemic has helped in stemming the threat.
” Now is the time for us to once again make a leap in our response to work together to end COVID-19 and get back on track to end HIV by 2030.
“The most recent survey conducted in all the states of the federation shows that the prevalence rate for Gombe has dropped from 8.5 percent in 2006 to the current prevalence of 1.3 percent which is a laudable achievement for the state. This is a reflection of collaborative efforts and immense support given to the fight against HIV by this administration and the development partners”.
He however stressed that it is not yet time for celebration, noting that a lot of work still needs to be done to ensure further significant reduction till the goal of global HIV epidemic control is achieved.
The Governor directed the Ministry of health to ensure that frontline health workers, nurses, midwives and community health workers are adequately protected when delivering services for HIV and COVID-19.
He acknowledged and saluted donor agencies and development partners, civil society groups, health workers and all stakeholders for their steadfastness and support over the years.