The First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi has reiterated the commitment of the state government towards reducing the transmission rate of HIV/AIDS in the state.
Erelu Fayemi who is the Chairperson, Ekiti State Aids Control Agency (EKSACA), stated this at a programme tagged : “Communities Make the difference”, organized to commemorate the 2019 World AIDS Day in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday.
She said that marking the World AIDs Day provides an opportunity to remind the people that HIV has not gone away totally, adding that a lot needed to be done to end the epidemic.
“We remember our departed loved ones, celebrate our successes and achievements in combating the virus and we urge and push for our communities to make a difference by taking up HIV testing services, HIV prevention services, supporting the treatment of and caring for People Living with HIV as well as joining in the fight against Stigmatisation and discrimination against People Living with HIV, “ she said.
Mrs Fayemi recognized the effort of communities which include peer educators, networks of people living with or affected by HIV, young people counsellors, community health workers, door-to-door service providers, civil society organizations and grass-roots activists.
“I request you all not to relent in your efforts at bringing HIV to zero in Ekiti State even in the face of dwindling resources and inadequate donor support to the HIV response,” she said.
She further expressed concern that HIV was still a threat to men, women and children in the country.
She said “Ekiti has been able to stabilize HIV prevalence at 0.8% (2018 NAIIS report) though, the government is not unmindful of various challenges in achieving the global target such as stigma and discrimination, poor access to resources for HIV and AIDS response, high lost to follow up, poverty, low levels of treatment literacy, TB/HIV treatment adherence and the menace of fake HIV cure claimants.”
The Governor’s Wife promised that the State Government would provide necessary political will and financial support to ensure that those living with the virus are adequately taken care of.
“Dr. Kayode Fayemi led administration is committed to mobilizing political, financial and all necessary supports so that Ekiti can be among the states that can meet the global target of ending AIDS by the year 2030.”
She emphasised the need for people who are not married to abstain from unprotected sex and charged all sexually active individual to have HIV test since the virus could be contacted from variety of ways.
There were good will messages from the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Akeem Jamiu, Commissioner for Health, Dr Monisola Yaya-Kolade, NACA Representatives amongst others at the event.
They promised to be relentless at ensuring that adequate support and care are giving for People Living With HIV/AIDS in the state.
The Program Manager EKSACA Charles Doherty said World AIDS Day was an opportunity to take stock of the past and present, while still projecting into the future with a view to critically examine the areas of strengths and weaknesses through experience sharing.
Dr Doherty explained that the reason for the programme was to impress upon humanity the reality of HIV scourge through public awareness creation with particular reference to the death caused by AIDS.
Highpoint of the event was the handing over of empowerment items to People living with HIV/AIDS by the wife of the Governor.