Commissioner Harps on Effective Community Involvement to End HIV/AIDS

Commissioner Harps on Effective Community Involvement to End HIV/AIDS

The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, has said effective community involvement in the eradication of HIV/AIDS is pivotal to any successful response to the menace, as it is well-positioned to address both the social and cultural factors that contribute to its transmission.

Dr. Coker revealed this during a press conference in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, organised by the Ogun State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OGSACA), held in commemoration of 2023 World AIDS Day, with the theme, ‘’Communities: Leadership To End AIDS by 2030.

Coker emphasised the need for community to lead in education and awareness, creating access to HIV testing services, promoting social behaviour, advocacy and policy change, and preventing stigma and discrimination, among others, noting that it is essential to place community leaders at the centre of HIV plans, programmes, budget and monitoring effort.

The commissioner, who reiterated the commitment and target of the present administration to end AIDS by 2030, pointed out that the health facilities in the state that are currently providing HIV services had increased from 198 in 2019 to 497 as of November 2023, while about 300 community testers had been engaged for HIV case findings.

She added:’’ OGSACA has created a one-stop shop for testing people for the first time and providing medical support for them, and the center has collaborated with health providers to reduce the HIV/AIDs in the communities’’.

In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Waheed Adeshina, said AIDS would be a thing of the past in the next seven years, saying people should be ready to put an end to stigmatisation, and take a bold step to know their HIV status.

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