NACA moves to eradicate HIV pandemic in South West region
The National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) has established its zonal office in Lagos State to monitor the control response of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and eradicate the virus pandemic in the South West region.
The event, which is a move towards ending HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nigeria by 2030, as well as achieve the 90-90-90 target by 2020, witnessed government representatives from the six states in the region – Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ogun and the host Lagos, along with the private sector.
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who commended the edifice said there is an urgent need for stakeholders to review strategies and deepen partnership in the area of advocacy and expanding access to care, treatment and support for those living with the virus.
The governor, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, explained that the recently released report of national and sub-national incidence rates, which indicated a reduction in prevalence of the disease, is a testament to the effort of all stakeholders.
He noted that a lot of work needs to be done to ensure further significant reduction, as Nigeria still has an unenviable record of hosting the second largest HIV epidemic in the world and one of the highest rates of new infection in sub-Saharan Africa.
While noting that the establishment of the NACA zonal office in Lagos will bring closer the services of the agency to the people, particularly stakeholders and partners, Sanwo-Olu averred that the office will enhance the agency’s monitoring and coordination functions in the drive to reduce HIV.
“The decision to locate the South West Office of NACA in Lagos, I believe is in recognition of the commitment and dedication of our government to eradicating the virus through the activities of the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA). More importantly, this decision is consistent with the recent classification of Lagos State as one of the locations of interest in the fight against the menace of HIV/AIDS”, the governor said.
Sanwo-Olu said his administration is willing and ready to further deepen partnership with NACA to achieve the collective goal of eradicating the HIV pandemic through various actions in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the project 90:90:90.
The Lagos State chief executive, however, called for stronger collaboration among all stakeholders to eradicate the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) pandemic in Nigeria, as well as end the record of having the second largest HIV epidemic in the world.
Speaking earlier, the Director General of NACA, Dr. Gambo Aliyu said the new Zonal Office would oversee the coordination of NACA’s activities in the South West Zone and provide effective oversight of the agency’s activities in cluster of states within the region for appropriate report to the head office in Abuja.
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