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FG To Test 80 million Nigerians For HIV

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The National Agency for Control of Aids has said the Federal
Government has commenced free HIV counselling, testing
and medical outreach in the Federal Capital Territory as well
as Niger, Enugu, Bayelsa, Anambra and Delta states.
The agency, in partnership with the Subsidy Reinvestment
and Empowerment Programme, said the programme was a
component of the Presidential Comprehensive Response
Plan to test 80 million Nigerians for HIV between 2014 and
2015. The plan, NACA said, would also provide HIV
treatment to an additional 600,000 HIV positive patients
across the country.
In Bayelsa, one of the states in the first phase of the
exercise, NACA and SURE-P on Wednesday commenced the
free HIV counseling, testing and medical mission with the
target to cover 6,000 beneficiaries. Speaking at the opening
ceremony at Igbogene community in Yenagoa, Dr. Okorie
Gideon, Focal Person at Programme Coordination Unit of
NACA said that the team would render free medical services
for the next four days in two communities in Bayelsa.
He reiterated that the agencies, in line with the PCRPP, were
poised test 80 million Nigerians for HIV between 2014 and
2015. Also speaking, Head of SURE-P unit of NACA, Dr,
Rosemary Adu, said that NACA was working at reducing new
HIV infections and combating stigmatisation of HIV infected
persons.
Adu noted that some 1,000 persons had so far been tested
for HIV and provided medical care for other health
conditions such as malaria, hypertension and diabetes. One
of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Biboere Gabriel, commended the
Federal Government for the free medical scheme. She urged
the organizations to sustain the exercise to reach out to
other parts of Bayelsa.
Also, Mr. Bright Kaghor, who benefitted from the medical
service, said he received treated mosquito net as well as
medications after seeing a medical doctor. Paramount ruler
of Igbogene, Chief Adike Green, hailed NACA and SURE-P for
bringing free medical care to the community, noting that
going beyond HIV was a strategy to combating the stigma
associated with the scourge.

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