In attempt to curb the effects of HIV/AIDS on Nigerians, Hacey Health initiative, a non-Governmental organization, has teamed up with the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS (Nibucca) in order to ensure a more convincing and effective battle is fought against the killer disease HIV/AIDS.
This gave birth to an organized session by both parties to educate young people and couples on HIV/AIDS; how to prevent the infection as well as how to manage the infection should they contact it.
Speaking during testing and counselling exercises which was supported by Access Bank Plc in line with the belief of the bank that private sector can play a huge role in eliminating HIV, Programme Coordinator Hacey Health Initiative, Owolabi Isaiah said that the recent UNAIDs report shows that in 2016, Nigeria had 220,000 new HIV infections and 160 000 AIDS-related deaths.
According to Isaiah, the collaboration by both bodies will go a long way to ensure that the effect of the killer disease is curtailed with the country experiencing an unprecedented rise in the mortality rate cause by the disease as well as rise in infection.
He explained that the only way to prevent, care and reduce the prevalence of HIV was to ensure that those tested positive have access to treatment.
“It is in attempt to achieve this that Hacey Health Initiative and NiBUCCA conducted tests for about 576 people, which includes 321 females and 255 males during the organized session. Two people were tested positive; both male and female. This was solely supported by Access Bank Plc.
“Young people in Ilorin, Kwara state also benefitted from the project as they were educated on HIV/AIDS through the IEC materials and one on one engagement. About 1,780 young people were engaged during the programme which also included sponsorship of 304 viewers to a cinema show as they watched an Access bank funded movie which enlightened young people on the potential risks, perceived vulnerability to HIV, myths surrounding the spread of HIV and description of the dynamics of the virus in the human body,” Isaiah noted.
Following the success of the programme, Hacey Health Initiative and Nibucca recommended the scale up provision and distribution of condoms to reach 2 million young persons across Nigeria by the end of 2018, also increased support to 100,00 persons living with HIV by providing Anti Retrovirals (ARTs) and enabling strong referral channels.
This project was supported by Access Bank Plc in line with the belief that private sector can play a huge role in eliminating HIV in our generation. It is apt to note that the project was implemented in Surulere, Ajegunle, Ilorin Kwara State.