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NACA trains persons living with HIV/AIDS in Kwara

By Bushrah Yusuf-Badmus [NAN]

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The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has begun a five-day capacity building training for persons living with HIV/AIDS in Kwara.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training which started on Monday with 25 participants was declared open by the Director-General, NACA, Dr Sani Aliyu on Tuesday.

The training has its theme as” Capacity strengthening of key and vulnerable populations in access to HIV services efficiency”.

The DG who was represented by Alex Ogundipe, Director Community Prevention, Care and Support, said the essence of the training was to ensure that people living with the virus understood issues surrounding it.

”NACA is doing this to strengthen the capacity of people living with the virus and who are accessing treatment presently.

” This is because it is in building their capacity that they can understand all the issues around the virus and to guarantee that they will remain on treatment.

” It is through remaining on treatment that we can suppress the virus and when we suppress the virus, there will be no new transmission and if there is no new transmission, then everybody will be free by 2030,” Aliyu said.

He, however, charged the participants to avoid self-stigmatization saying it was the first challenge needed to be surmounted.

” Don’t stigmatize yourself because 70 per cent of people in the world have one ailment or the other that they are battling with.

” HIV positive victims should not be stigmatized or criminalized, as they can live a healthy and productive life when drugs are well used.

” But I will urge you that whatever is learnt here should be passed to your other colleagues because everyone cannot be trained. When you show and teach them what you have learnt, then all of us can beat HIV out of Nigeria by 2030,” he said.

The NACA DG however enjoined the Kwara State Government to include persons living with HIV in its existing Health Insurance Schemes

” Kwara state is blazing the trail since a couple of weeks back now as the state is the leading state health insurance model in Nigeria and we appreciate what they are doing.

” But my DG wants me to plead with Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to ensure that everyone living with HIV is accommodated on the state Health Insurance.

” When we have HIV in the health insurance model, we will be rest assured that the challenges of HIV will be solved in the state,” he said.

Mrs. Tosin Ajayi, Coordinator Kwara Chapter, Civil Society for Aids in Nigeria (CISAN) called for a synergy among all relevant bodies and associations to achieve efficiency.

Mr. Christopher Aliu, Programme Officer, Society for Women Development and Empowerment of Nigeria (SWODEN), the organisations in charge of the training said the training was meant to empower the participants and for them to in turn influence their communities. (NAN)

 


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