Total Provides Free HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, screening in Onitsha

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Nosa Alekhuogie

Total Nigeria Plc and Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria in partnership with Nigeria Business Against AIDS (NiBUCAA) have provided free screening of no fewer than 10,000 persons for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Onitsha, Anambra state.

Speaking at the official launch of the programme which was held in Onitsha recently, the Managing Director, Total Nigeria Plc, Mr. Jean Phillipe-Torres and Managing Director, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria represented by Executive Director (Strategy), Mr. Jeff Nnamani explained that the screening was in line with the companies’ social responsibility programme.

He explained that the exercise commenced since 2006 and had been extended to 20 states across the country including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. He said that free VCT has been deployed to various locations across Onitsha, Awka, Nnewi, Ekwuluobia and Ihiala in Anambra state since May 15 , which ended on May 29, 2017.

According to Nnamani, “Total group in Nigeria with her partners-NNPC/NAPIMS over the past 11 years has consistently made concerted effort under the public private partnership (PPP) initiative at responding to the HIV /AIDS pandemic in Nigeria. The Total Group is committed to positively impact the lives of Nigeria’s through health education on preventive measure and awareness creation on HIV/AIDS management.

Our fight against HIV/AIDS is a fight to protect our host communities, employees, families, organizations and society at large from the infection. This initiative has been adopted by the total group as an essential component of our Group’s Sustainable Development policy and has been fully integrated into our global strategy.

“For us, the watchword is prevention which is far less expensive and less expensive and less complicated than cure. Today, the only known cure for HIV/AIDS is prevention. In light of this, we are confident that with consistent efforts geared towards prevention, we can indeed have a near HIV/AIDS-free society.”

The acting Executive Secretary, NiBUCCA), Mr. Gbenga Alabi expressed happiness to have forged a synergy with Total Group since 2006 to help in achieving the lofty goals for which the body was set up.

He said that world over, the last three decades has faced with HIV/AIDS, a public health issue that has threatened and is still threatening the fundamentals of human development especially in developing countries which include Nigeria, saying that the current HIV prevalence in Nigeria was 3.0 per cent.

“This is the second visit to Anambra state, the first visit was in 2013 when three automated laboratory equipment (CD four machines, semi-chemistry analyser and semi-haematology analyser) were donated to Aliyi-Enugu Mission Hospital, Ogidi which is now a comprehensive treatment centre” Alabi stated.

“This years’ project is keying into the United Nations 90-90-90 strategy aimed at providing opportunity for people to know their HIV status. You may not believe it, but around 40 per cent of the people with HIV are unaware of their infection. The only way to determine a person’s HIV status is for them to have an HIV test” he added.