Monday, 3 December 2018

First Lady task C'riverians to know their HIV status, as SACA reveal shocking figures

The First Lady of Cross River State, Dr. Mrs. Linda Ayade has urge cross Riverians to ensure they know those HIV status even as new statistics reveals shocking figures.

The governor's wife who was speaking shortly after a walk to mark the 2018 World AIDS Day on Saturday in Calabar, said with the recent high numbers of Volunteers and NGO's who are working tirelessly round the clock on the HIV project, nobody should have an excuse not to know their status. 

Dr. Mrs Ayade who is also the President and founder of Mediatrix Development Foundation, MDF (an NGO that champions the creation of awareness and care for HIV/AIDS in the state), urged every citizens to know their status.

In her words: "Knowing your status is important, because it helps count your life. We shouldn't let our carelessness take our lives, for if you fail to know your status today, you plan to die tomorrow".

 "If you test, it's no longer a death sentence – for it prolongs your lives. We want to continue to fight HIV/AIDS ferociously and with our minds to ensure it is completely eradicated."

 "Since the inception of the monstrous disease, we cannot count the untimely deaths that it has brought to our society. We want to let you know that at MDF, we are doing everything to ensure that we succeed. And if any Cross Riverian should die of HIV/AIDS today, you kill yourself, for the drugs are now totally free."

Dr. Ayade tasked everyone to spread the message across board for people to know their status as she advised the young ones to abstain from intercourse. "We want the population of Cross River State to continue to grow", she added.

In her address, Dr. Rose Nyambi, DG Cross River State Agency for the Control of AIDS (SACA) gave some frightful figures as the prevalent rate of the deadly disease in the state. 

She said the State HIV prevalence is still higher than the National and Zonal Average.

She revealed that "Cross River State has a HIV prevalence of (7.7% for urban and 4.2% for rural) 6.6% (2014 survey by the Federal Ministry of Health) and ranked 5th position in Nigeria. HIV prevalence is higher in the Urban than in the rural setting.

"For instance, in both Calabar South and Calabar Municipal, the prevalence decreased (1.4%) from 10.4% to 9%; Ikom 6.3%; Akamkpa increased (2.1%) from 2.6% in 2010 to 4.7% in 2014; an increase of 2.1% in Gakem (Bekwarra) and Ogoja LGA increased (3.4%) from 0.6% in 2010 to 4% in 2014.

"Although, the HIV prevalence reduce by 5%, there is still work to be done. The State HIV prevalence is still higher than the National and zonal average", Dr. Nyambi said.

The representative of Lafarge Plc, a major partner in the HIV project informed the audience tha the Company had in the  past 8 years being a strong and proud supporter the course of eliminating HIV/AIDS in the state. "We have shared in part the 2030 plan with the government and we employ everyone to share the responsibility of eradicating the disease."

It was also revealed during the event that over 200,000 residence of Cross River State are living with HIV while only about 30,000 people of the above mentioned figure have been able to access anti-retrovial drugs as the over 170,000 remaining are yet to present themselves for the drugs. 

According to the commissioner of health, Dr. Mrs. Inyang Asibong, to achieve a 90% reduction of the prevalent rate in Cross State, it was argued that concentration needs to be given to 6 Local Govetnment Areas in the state. 

The LGA's include: Calabar, municipality, Calabar South, Akpampka, Yakurr, Ikom, Yala.

Dr. Mrs. Linda Ayade, giving her remarks 

Dr. Mrs. Linda Ayade carrying out a tetanus immunisation on a mother 

Dr. Mrs. Inyang Asibong, commissioner of health, CRS

Partnering organisations display their banners 

Her Excellency with some State exco members

First Lady giving her remarks