..reveals that HIV/AIDS prevalence very high in S-South.
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has said the three tiers of government in Nigeria are not taking ownership of HIV/AIDS response in the country.
The Director-General of NACA, Gambo Aliyu, stated this in Yenagoa on Friday at the ongoing HIV Media Advocacy and Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) Skills Building Workshop. The training is for medical experts in HIV/AIDS and journalists with the theme: HIV, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV Self-Testing.
Aliyu, who was represented by the Director, Policy Planning and Stakeholders Coordination, Eno Essien noted that People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHIV) are solely supported by donor agencies.
He said that increased participation by the government was needed to ene that support for beneficiaries do not fail when the donor partners pull out.
He urged states in the South-South geopolitical zone to take advantage of the support by the implementing partners to treat people living with HIV for the region to be free of the infection.
He explained that in some states in the region like Bayelsa were yet to fully implement the law establishing the State Agency for Control of Aids (SACA), while some require amendment to allow for proper functioning of the board.
The NACA boss noted that SACA ought to be supervised by the Office of the Governor and by the Ministry of Health.
South-South Coordinator, NACA, Uduak Daniel, noted that the six states in the region had high HIV prevalence, which she said, necessitated the need to collaborate with the media through the setting up of advocacy platforms as a strategy in the fight against the epidemic.
She noted that the need to build the capacity of journalists for them to effectively involve advocacy in their different media channels informed the workshop.
Emmanuel Atuma, Chief of Party, John Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynaecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO) said that the capacity enhancement exercise will consolidate the gains made so far in the control of HIV, noting that the media was a powerful and veritable tool in the fight against the epidemic.
The collaboration involves JHPIEGO and FHI-360, a Non-Governmental Organisation working together to bring about the needed required change towards reducing the HIV burden in the country.
Gloria Diri, wife of the governor of Bayelsa, who represented Governor Douye Diri emphasized the need for aggressive HIV advocacy by the media to reduce HIV/AIDS prevalence in Bayelsa.
She commended NACA for bringing the workshop to Bayelsa and assured that the state would continue to provide a conducive environment and that the state government will complete the permanent site of the Bayelsa State Agency for the Control AIDS (BYSACA).
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