* Calls for actions to wipe it off Nigeria*
DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa [above], has expressed joy with the reduction of HIV/AIDS in the country and called for strident efforts to have zero prevalence rate in the country.
Joyful Governor Okowa who played host to the Director-General of National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Prof. John Idoko who paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Asaba, assured Deltans that his administration would support any effort to ensure that HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases become non-existent or reduced to the barest minimum.
According to Governor Okowa, “it is heartwarming to hear that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS has declined in Nigeria, especially in Delta State, it is very encouraging because, we want a healthy people and we will support any organization to ensure that our people gets quality healthcare, we will support NACA; it is in our interest and the interest of every Nigerian to do so to get HIV/AIDS to zero point.”
“I promise to present a bill to the Delta State House of Assembly within the next two weeks to transform SACA (State Action Committee on Aids) to an agency and it is our hope and belief that the House will give it speedy passage before the end of the year,” disclosing, “we have good relationship with the Delta State House of Assembly.”
He assured NACA of his administration’s commitment to access all counterpart funds, noting that counterpart funds were beneficial to the state as they make drugs available for the people.
The Governor used the occasion to state that the state health insurance bill which would ensure that all Deltans have access to affordable healthcare has reached third reading after a public hearing in the House of Assembly, expressing hope that the bill will see the light of day for Deltans to have its benefits.
“We believe the best thing to do is to go in to health insurance, we initiated the Contributory Health Insurance bill and all processes are being put in place to enable it commence, we believe it will be passed by the Delta State House of Assembly before the end of the year and the agency established in January, 2016 as our people stands to benefit immensely from it,” he said.
Earlier, Prof. Idoko who was accompanied by top officials of NACA had informed Governor Okowa that the HIV/AIDS prevalence was less than 6 per cent in the country and less than 1 per cent in Delta State, asserting that there was the need for the Delta State government to endeavour to access its counterpart fund because “there is a decline in the funding from donors.”
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