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Stakeholders In Cross River Seek HIV/AIDS Test Kits

Stakeholders In Cross River Seek HIV/AIDS Test Kits

Stakeholders In Cross River Seek HIV/AIDS Test Kits

Stakeholders In Cross River Seek HIV/AIDS Test Kits

Since there aren’t enough HIV test kits available in public health facilities throughout Cross River State, stakeholders have appealed for increased supplies to help the fight against the disease.

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They reached the decision over the weekend during the state management team meeting in Calabar, which was sponsored by the Excellence Community Education Welfare Scheme and organized by the State Agency for the Control of AIDS.

Dr. Jonah Bassey Offor, the director of public health for the Cross River State Ministry of Health, stated during the meeting that the scarcity of HIV test kits was one of the difficulties facing the fight against HIV/AIDS. He was represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Iwara Iwara.

Stakeholders In Cross River Seek HIV/AIDS Test Kits

According to him, “The test kits being used in the state are being provided by implementing partners with assistance from the Cross River State government over time. Now there has been a lack of these test kits.

“Cross River State Ministry of Health will meet with implementing partners to see how test kits will be made available as soon as possible.

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“The partners told us the prevalence rate of HIV in Cross River State is 2 percent, which is quite encouraging, which means the partners are doing a lot towards the reduction of HIV in the state.”

He added, “The partners are working in collaboration with Cross River State Ministry of Health and for us to have a prevalence rate of 2 percent even though we are being surrounded by states that have very high prevalence rate tells you that we are doing a lot in the control of HIV/AIDS in the state.”

Stakeholders In Cross River Seek HIV/AIDS Test Kits

On the influx of visitors during the forthcoming carnival and the impact that would have on the possible spread of the disease, he said, “Cross River State government and the Ministry of Health are well equipped to control whatever population that will be coming into the state as regards the spread of HIV in the sense that they have well trained health workers. They have been equipped for this task across the state. Hopefully, before the carnival commences in December, the issue of lack of test kits will be taken care of.”

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SACA Community Mobilisation Officer, Ifere Obeten, said, “There is a need for the private sector to be involved in the response and a committee has been formed to ensure they address that gap. We are working to achieve zero percent in the prevalence rate in Cross River State.

“We will ensure that test kits are available during the carnival. There will be activities for people to know their HIV status. Condoms will also be available and other measures will be implemented to ensure that they don’t engage in unprotected sex.

Stakeholders In Cross River Seek HIV/AIDS Test Kits

At the Christmas Village efforts will be made to set up testing points there. Even along the roads, there will be mobile testing units that will be conducting services. We now do the test and treat those found to be positive.”

Chairman, Cross River Technical Working Group, Dr. MacFarlane Eja, called for a declaration of a state of emergency over the lack of HIV test kits, adding that it was a public health emergency.

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Mr. Umanah Joe of ECEWS said progress had been made in putting facilities in place to accelerate the control and prevention of HIV in the state.

United Nations agencies and other partners highlighted their achievements such as viral load suppression, a number of tests carried out, challenges, and their goals.

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