By Andy Chukwu
Dr. Osagie Ehinare, Minister of Health has stated that Nigeria is on track in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Ehinare, who was represented by Mr. Araoye Segilola, National Coordinator, AIDS/STI Department in the ministry, in a conference for the 2019 World Aids Day celebration, said Nigeria had made tremendous success in reducing the scourge.
He noted that some years back, discrimination against persons living with the disease was very high, saying that today the story had changed.
Ehinare who reiterated calls for more to be done in saving lives said identifying communities with most infections was imperative for making more progress.
“We need to work with the communities and engage them in order to save them because we do not want them to die,” the minister said.
Dr. Gambo Aliyu, Director-General NACA, restated the agency’s renewed commitment to the fight against AIDS.
Aliyu said that the agency had taken drastic steps by establishing six zonal offices in Nigeria, aimed at penetrating the grassroots.
He said that the day was a commemoration of the role communities played in the fight against AIDS. He listed the communities as people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as their supporters.
Aliyu commended the community of people living with AIDS for their resilience even in the face of stringent funding. He reminded the communities of their role in holding government and HIV/AIDS stakeholders accountable.
NAN reports that the World AIDS Day is marked every Dec. 1. The 2019 celebration has a theme: “Communities make the difference.”