HIV/AIDS: EDOSACA tasks LGAs on broad-based support for disease prevention, management

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…lauds Obaseki on mobile testing facilities

The Edo State Agency for the Control of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), EDOSACA, has tasked the 18 local government councils in the state to support the agency’s efforts at scaling up its intervention programmes across the state.

Executive Director, EDOSACA, Mrs. Flora Oyakhilome, said such broad-based support would better prepare the agency to reduce the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in rural areas across the state.

Oyakhilome’s call was part of the agency’s recommendations in its progress report covering December 2017 – December 2018.
“The 18 local government councils should be mandated to fund the various Local Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (LACAs) to carry out prevention activities including community HIV Testing and Counselling.”

On the achievements of the agency within the period under review, Oyakhilome noted that the state government led by Governor Godwin Obaseki approved funds for Mobile HIV Testing Services across seven locations in Benin City, a move she said was targeted towards increasing HIV Testing Services (HTS) in the state.

“The plan is to replicate this strategy in the other senatorial districts and sustain the response,” she added.

She explained: “The December 2018 Services data coming from the Community Mobile HIV Testing Service (HTS) have shown tremendous progress by the agency.”

Recall that while addressing journalists at the end of a Stakeholders’ Scorecard and Interactive meeting held in Benin City, Oyakhilome, said the state government established seven centers in Benin where residents can check to ascertain their status and get counselling services.

“The centers are located in Santana Market, Ramat Park, New Benin, Evbuotubu, Oluku, Ekiosa and Ring Road.”

She said the establishment of the centres “is a remarkable experience for us in the agency as we are testing people and those who come out positive are counselled and linked to care. This is the first time we are embarking on an event like this and the success of the exercise is attributed to the state government.”