‘Over 3m Nigerians infected with HIV/AIDS’

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Let d smoke carry d point
In Nigeria, over three million persons are infected with HIV/AIDS, while almost everyone is affected in one form or the other.

Dr Ngeri Benebo, Director, Environment Health in the Federal Ministry of Health, said this in her welcome address at a capacity building workshop for Federal Ministry of Environment and Zonal Controllers, to mainstream HIV/AIDS Control into routine activities.

She said the substantial impact of the disease on the social and economic development has contributed to the present decrease in life expectancy and increased the number of deaths of young adults.

Benebo said, “at this period when Nigeria is determined more than ever before, to achieve rapid development in various sectors of the economy, it becomes imperative that efforts must be accelerated to checkmate the dreaded HIV/AIDS.

“In this bid, government has already mapped-out several strategies in the national response to the disease and the Ministry of Environment is one of its channels to combat the disease.”

Benebo said the workshop is a sector response and contribution towards achieving wholistic goal of the Federal Government and also to provide with adequate knowledge that will mainstream the disease control into routine programme activities.

Minister for Environment, Mrs Helen Esuene, represented by the Director, Personnel Management, Alhaji Mohammed Baba-Gidado, said we are all duty-bound to take up the fight against this deadly disease and that the Federal Government in its commitment, is not leaving anything to chance to bring the disease under control. And that is why National Action Committee on AIDS (NACA), State Action Committee on AIDS (SACA) and Local Action Committee on AIDS (LACA) are sets up to oversee the coordination of the National, State and Local Government responses respectively. NACA also ensures public awareness on the scourge and leads the development of strategic framework to combat the scourge. Having stressed on the vulnerable group, the devastating effects of the disease and the need to rise up to action, the Minister passionately appealed to the resource persons not to leave any stone unturned to clear all doubts this about this nightmare of a disease.

Present at the workshop were Controllers from Bauchi, kaduna, Kano Borno, Niger, Rivers, Delta, Imo, Oyo and the host state, Plateau.

The resource persons of Dr, Akudo Ikpeazu, Mr. Emmanuel Udoh and Mrs. Rosemary Nnamdi –Okagbue went all the way to straighten all the confusions that have trailed the dreaded disease and how to be helped out of the menace.

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