Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Bauchi State Government and Society for Family Health (SFH) saturday agreed to fight the scourge of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the state.
SFH’s Head of Strategic Information, Dr. Wole Fajemisin announced the partnership after a meeting with officials of Bauchi State Agency for the Control of Tuberculosis, Malaria and Aids (BACATMA) and the State Police Command.
After the meeting, Fajemisin observed that Bauchi State “currently has a low HIV/AIDs prevalence in the country, just as efforts are being intensified to ensure that those living positive were reached with more preventive services.”
He explained that the meeting was initiated “to discuss issues pertaining HIV/AIDs and what could be done to improve access to HIV/AIDs services by the vulnerable population in the state.”
He said Bauchi state presently “has a low HIV/AIDs prevalence. When this occurs, it is most likely that persons who are positive are concentrated among few special groups.”
According to Fajemisin, the next step in the HIV/AIDs programming in the state is to ensure that this concentrated population receives HIV/AIDs services.
In Bauchi, he explained that the group included sex workers, people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men and prisoners, saying all these “are groups that are usually confronted by police for the acts which they do.
“There was therefore a need to ensure that Society for Family Health could be able to reach them without any police interference or police harassment of the persons that are trying to reach the groups and also ensure that they can be reached.”
At the end of the meeting, Fajemisin disclosed that an understanding was reached that the partners needed to develop a system that would ensure that Society for Family Health was able to carry out its activities without hindrance.
Among others, SFH’s Chief of Party, Abdulsamad Salihu, Executive Chairman of BACATMA, Dr. Sani Dambam and the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police (COMPOL), Lawal Jimeta attended the meeting.