Delta promises quality healthcare delivery, donates test kits for HIV screening
According to the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, who spoke exclusively with The Guardian at the weekend, said: “There is no prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in Delta State as it is not a common occurrence here. Rather, what the state government does is to continually ensure that adequate measures are in place to tackle such incidents as they crop up. Just like other states, we have the Delta State Agency for the Control of AIDS (DELSACA).
“Like the seriousness, we attach to every other sector, we have also been able to tackle all issues concerning the health of our people as it is important to us. That is why we take the issue of contributory health scheme with over 530,000 registered already because the health of our people is of utmost importance to the state government.”
This is coming on the heels of donations of Rapid Test kits by the Executive Secretary of Delta State Agency for the Control of AIDS, DELSACA, Dr. John Osuyali; and data collated by Caritas Nigeria, a Non Governmental Organization that put the, yet to be identified, cases of HIV at 47,000 out of 69,000 cases recorded previously.
This was disclosed by the state’s Senior Technical Leader Dr. Dorcas Magbadelo who doubles as Deputy team leader, during the inaugural meeting to tackle HIV/AIDS epidemic in the state held in Asaba last week.
Dr. Magbadelo, incidentally, the expert in the team, disclosed that 22, 000 HIV patients are currently receiving treatment across the state and that everyone is at risk of contracting the virus hence the need for regular testing and treatment prevention.
She further explained ways out of the web, stressing, ‘’I go to the saloon with my needle, because it is a job I do and it is one of the numerous ways of contracting the virus, so the only way to control the scourge is by identifying those living with the virus and suppressing it”.
At the `Art surge consortium inaugural meeting, which was declared opened by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Mrs. Minnie Oseji, DELSACA boss said, “ The donation of the 100, 000 Rapid Test kits is to enable the organization carry out accelerated drive towards testing to identify people living with HIV. And link them to care and treatment at no cost.”
DELTA State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has said that registration for national identity card through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) will, apart from providing an appropriate figure of the country’s population for effective national planning, also boost security.
The governor stated this yesterday in Asaba while speaking with journalists to mark the maiden nationwide celebration of National Identity Day.
Okowa said that with such a development, the government at all levels would plan better and give proper attention to security in the country with proper documentation of Nigerians by NIMC.
He said: “It is my prayer that as a country, we are going to walk the talk. It is not just enough to have a day set aside; it is about the passion and commitment of everybody involved to ensure that it works for us.
“We know that getting Nigerians to register with NIMC is very important to us as a country. Proper documentation will facilitate all kinds of planning because the greatest challenge we have as a nation is planning.
“We can only do properly when we have the figures right. Most times, we use projections because the various demography needed for planning are not in place.
“It is also very important, and concerning issues of intelligence and security, I think that this makes it very key for us as a nation for everybody to support this course and ensure that it is not one-day advocacy. Security challenges will be curbed by the time we are able to have Nigerians properly registered and documented.”
He urged the Federal Government to ensure that every Nigerian register “because, from the statistics, we have just about 20 per cent of Nigerians registered with NIMC, which is still a very far cry from what we deserve.”
He, however, commended the NIMC for a job well done; saying: “You need a lot of advocacy, and we will try to take it through the social media, the press and the political class to make it more impactful.”
On her part, the Co-ordinator of NIMC in the state, Henrietta Okolo, said: “We are celebrating the National Identity Day in our special way in Delta. And we are encouraging every Nigerian to go to the nearest enrolment centre and get enrolled for life; it is free and everybody is meant to do it.
“From the records, we have so far enrolled over 36 million Nigerians nationwide, but in Delta, we have enrolled about one million persons which is a far cry from the population of the state and we need to do more.”
Okolo commended Okowa’s administration for its support to the commission and appealed for the sustenance of the relationship.