Peter Dada, Akure
The United States of America has partnered the Ondo State Government on the treatment of HIV patients.
The Consul-General of the United States of America in Nigeria, Claire Pierengelo, disclosed that over 12,000 people living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Ondo State had received treatment through the APIN Public Health Initiative.
The Consul-General stated this at the inauguration of the HIV Treatment Surge, held at the International Cultural and Event Center, Akure.
She also said the U.S Government, through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, has invested more than $85 billion in the global HIV/ AIDS response since 2003.
According to her, the U.S has been supporting the Nigerian Government since 2019 to rapidly reduce the number of people living with HIV.
She said, “Equally important, is PEPFAR’s support in Nigeria’s policy development, human capacity building, and strengthening health systems, including the provision of state-of-the-art laboratories and pharmaceutical warehouses. Here in Ondo State.
“By the end of March 2021 there are over 12,000 people living with HIV that are receiving PEPFAR-supported treatment.”
The Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, said the programme was geared towards achieving HIV epidemic control that will chart a sustainable course for HIV prevention in the state.
Akeredolu who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Oludunni Odu, said, “ Today’s event is another first in our dear state by supporting a large scale HIV case-finding programme and to inaugurate the HIV Treatment Surge Campaign in order to achieve the ambitious set target of 95:95: 95 by 2030 set by United Nations as part of the Sustainable Development Goal three.”
Also, the Chief Executive Officer of the APIN Public Health Initiative, Dr Prosper Okonkwo, said the firm was ready go to the grassroots to identify and treat the people living with HIV as the US Government had provided all the needed logistics to do the work.