By Ikeugonna Eleke
The Anambra State Aids Control Agency (ANSACA) has decried the high rate of transmission of HIV in the state.
The agency said the state was the fifth highest in Nigeria in terms of HIV transmission among people aged between 15 and 49 years.
Executive Director of ANSACA, Mr Johnbosco Ementa, made this known at a two-day stakeholders’ meeting organised by the agency recently in Awka.
Ementa said the meeting was for the stakeholders to brainstorm on how best to scale up campaign to eliminate HIV transmission in the state.
‘It is unfortunate to note that Anambra is the fifth highest in Nigeria in terms of HIV transmission among people aged between 15 and 49 years.
‘The agency is working tirelessly to ensure its reduction or elimination by promoting behavioural change in both low and high populations and increase awareness and sensitisation among the general population.
‘We are also working with targeted stakeholders to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS in the state. Let me also inform you that plans are underway to domesticate the 2014 HIV Anti-Stigma Bill in Anambra State,’ he said.
Ementa said the meeting was an opportunity to interact, share knowledge and highlight challenges with a view to addressing them.
Also speaking, Dr Afam Obidike, the state’s Commissioner for Health, called for more efforts to reduce HIV transmission in the state.
Obidike who was represented by the Director, Public Health, Dr Afam Anaeme, said that HIV prevention was a task that should be accomplished and sustained in the state.
‘The pattern of transmission of the disease has made prevention a bit difficult in the state but Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s administration is determined to give residents quality healthcare service delivery.
‘I urge the agency to do more to ensure that the transmission of HIV is drastically reduced in the state,’ he said.