By Lucy Osuizigbo-Okechukwu
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) says that no fewer than 1.7 million patients accessed HIV/AIDs treatment in the south-East region in 2021.
Dr Miriam Ezekwe, NACA’S South-East Zonal Coordinator, made the disclosure at a stakeholders’ coordination meeting in Awka on Thursday.
” At the end of December 2021, it was found that no fewer than 1.7 million persons sought and accessed HIV/AIDS treatment in the region.
” In 2015, a similar survey showed that some 670,000 patients sought and accessed the treatments. This current data shows a 37.4 per cent increase in six years,” she said.
Ezekwe stated that such epidemic control was achieved in the region following effective policy implementation, resources allocation and actions taken by stakeholders.
Non-pharmaceutical measures such as peer education, contraceptive and lubricant usage among others, also helped to control the rate of infection.
”The result of this is that people infected with the virus are able to seek and access treatment instead of suffering in silence,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Adaoha Anosike, UNAIDS Resident Programme Officer in Anambra, expressed worry that the state had the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the region.
She described the meeting as timely and strategic, adding that it would produce seminal and useful ideas for the campaign against the disease.
”It is important to take the sensitisation about the disease to every nook and cranny of the state,” she said.
Anosike thanked stakeholders for attending the meeting and contributing their ideas towards tackling the scourge
It would be recalled that the 2018 HIV/AIDS indicator and impact survey showed that the South-East had 1.9 per cent prevalence rate.
The survey listed Anambra as the highest in the region with 2.4 per cent while Abia followed with 2.1 per cent prevalence rate.
It further showed that Enugu had 2.0 per cent, Imo, 1.8 per cent and Ebonyi, 0.8 per cent HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.(NAN)