How TACA achieves reduction in HIV/ AIDS in Taraba

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Michael Otieno, a pharmacist, dispenses anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs at the Mater Hospital in Kenya's capital Nairobi, September 10, 2015. Most of the 3,000 patients at Mater Hospital's Comprehensive Care Clinic, dedicated to HIV/AIDS treatment, come from nearby shanty towns. In Kenya, HIV prevalence among adults has almost halved since the mid-1990s to 5.3 percent in 2014, according to UNAIDS. Yet HIV/AIDS remains the leading cause of death in Kenya, responsible for nearly three in 10 deaths in the east African country, where 1.6 million Kenyans are infected, government data in 2014 shows. Picture taken September 10, 2015. To match Special Series DEVELOPMENT-GOALS/KENYA-HEALTH REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya - GF10000201331

By our Taraba correspondent

The drastic reduction in the prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/ AIDS) recently achieved by the Taraba State Agency for the Control of AIDS (TACA) from 10.5% to 2.9% , according to the leadership of the agency, would not have been possible without the support of both the state government and partners.

In the past, the state which use to be among the states with the highest prevalence of the virus and first in the north-east geo-political zone , was said to have now descended the ladder.

The Ececutive Director of the agency , Dr. Garba Danjuma, who yesterday made this known while playing host to the newly elected members of the Coalition of Civil Society on HIV/ AIDS in Nigeria(CISHAN), said even though the agency in collaboration with the state government and the partners have worked collectively to reduced the prevalence rate, the groups according to him, would not go to bed pending when the virus is flush out of the state.

Sad that the issue of premarital testing , bye sexual sex , and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of the virus, have continued to threaten the ongoing fight against the virus, he urged members of the coalition to tread extra legitimate miles in sensitizing stakeholders on the need to discourage “bye sexual sex in the state.”

The need for the coalition to as well reach out to religious leaders on the need for intending couples to go for HIV test three month before engagement, he believed would as well go a long way in preventing the spread of the disease.

Garba who was certain that with all hands on deck, the issue of HIV/AIDS in the state would soon be a thing of the past, pregnant women, as strongly advocated by him , ought to be allow free access by their spouses to Anti-Natal Care (ANC).

While charging the leadership of the coalition to join forces with the agency to actualize the dream of minimising the virus, the agency, as made known by him would continue to collaborate with the state government to provide conducive environment for partners willing to assist the agency and the state government at large.

On their parts, the leadership of the coalition via the North-east Coordinator, Samuel Tari, charged the state government to as a matter of urgency complete the restructuring of the agency by constituting it board members so aw to enable the agency function effectively stating that “otherwise the agency would stay in the cooler .”

The agency, as also suggested my the coalition , should also immediately embark on advocacy and sensitization campaigns against Covid-19 pandemic.

Some members of the coalition who bared their minds to our correspondent, reiterated the determinations to go extra miles in creating massive level of awareness on the danger associated with the disease.

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