HOW TO END THE EPIDEMIC OF HIV/AIDS IN NIGERIA

SpringAid International Development-SAID had on 19 August in its office in Owerri a meeting with the State Partners working on prevention, care and elimination of HIV/AIDS in Imo State and its environs. Present in the meeting were the Director of Imo State Agency for the Control Aids (IMOSACA) Dr Chukwummadu who was represented by Mr Ndubuaku C. K. Assist. CMO in IMOSACA. Dr Emeh D. O. (SAPC) State Ministry of Health. Mr Corne...ll Ekeh Com. Mob.officer Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Imo State. Mr Richard Nwamadi Project manager SpringAid International SAID. The SPO Acomin. Imo State. Also in attendance was the State Coordinator of NEPWAN, Mr Tony Duru. The three respective Local Action Committees on AIDS ( LACA) Program Coordinators of the Local Government Areas where SAID is working on PMTCT at the moment. After the review of the past activities of SAID on the area of Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT) was made, they praised SAID for the wonderful work it is doing in the fight for an HIV/AIDS free world.

UNAIDS’ report show that young people are at the centre of the global HIV/AIDS new infections. Nigeria has estimated 280, 000 adolescents living with HIV/AIDS, consisting of 180, 000 females and 100, 000 males which is nearly 60% of all new infections among adolescence in West and Central Africa. The National HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health Survey (NARHS) and other periodic surveys (NDHS and MICS) as well as the annual HIV/AIDS M&E report Periodic Behavioural and Integrated Biological, Behavioural Surveillance Surveys (BSS and IBBSS), HIV/AIDS Sentinel Surveys, Nigeria Demographic and Health Surveys, Health Facility Surveys and Assessments, HIV/AIDS Education Surveys show that girls and young women account for the highest percentage of new infections in Nigeria.

The meeting also discussed how these government agencies can have an effective synergy with non-government organizations such as SAID within the State to fight, prevent and care for HIV/AIDS among girls and adolescents. This is one of the several meetings SAID has had it effort assist communities to fight and eliminate HIV/AIDS. We engage with those whose lives are affected, ensuring that community voices are at the core of our work- for effective HIV/AIDS response. We align our intervention with the national objectives, strategies, policies and system in HIV/AIDS programing. SAID has a long history in HIV/AIDS programming and advocacy, working with girls, women and delivering changes at community level through our links and networks with local community representatives in these communities. SAID uses a people centred participatory approach in all its projects. We are designing a programme that contribute in tackling the harmful cultural norms that limit the aspirations of girls and women, and increase their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in Nigerian communities. Teddy Ihens

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