The Edo State Government is not resting on its oars as it set to partner the Federal Government to close the existing gaps in the management of Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS).
The Governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, disclosed this on Wednesday when he played host to the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who led a delegation of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and implementing partners on an advocacy visit to the Government House, Benin City on Wednesday.
Obaseki said his administration was committed to strengthening health systems to allow for effective management of diseases which include HIV/AIDs, and added that a committee with representatives of NACA would be set up to come up with an Action Plan on the models and strategies for the effective management of the disease in the state.
“It is important that we contain HIV, but there are some key things we need to do. We also need laboratories and the right management models to make it work,” he added.
According to the Minister of Health, represented by the Director for Public Health in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Evelyn Ngige there was the need for the state government to increase funding for HIV/AIDS activities.
Adewole explained that there was still a wide gap between those who require HIV care and treatment and those who can access it in Edo State. He disclosed that an estimated 173,660 persons were living with the virus in the state while 25,730 Persons living with the virus were on Anti-Retroviral treatment.
The minister expressed that last year, the state spent N5,000,000 on the State’s Sustainability Road Map (SRM) for the disease. He said the estimated project cost to implement the SRM in the state was about N271,432,118.
He added that their intension was for Edo to earmark at least between 0.5 to one per cent of its monthly federal allocation for the funding of HIV/AIDs SRM and the provision of HIV/AIDs commodities in the state.