World AIDS Day: C/River State Govt Partners UNICAL to End HIV Scourge; Commissions HIV Youth Friendly Center in UNICAL



The Cross River State Government has said  that it is determined to end the scourge of HIV epidemic by 2030, in line with the Joint United Nation Programme on HIV/AIDS vision.


The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu restated the state’s commitment at a walk to commemorate the 2021 World AIDS day, with the theme “End Inequalities. End AIDS. End Pandemic”, held at University of Calabar.


She said Government at all levels, partners and communities have major roles to play in the elimination of the epidemic in the state. According to her the State decided to mark this year event in UNICAL which is a Community comprising of people from different spheres of life who comes with a motive of achieving Academic excellence.


“2021 World AIDS day remind us of an opportunity to harness the power of people and communities in a bid to control the spread of the HIV virus as it remains the only way to ensure that ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 in Nigeria is possible”, Edu said.


Edu said the state in time past had the second highest HIV prevalence in the country but the state has reduced to 1.7. “it is still a source of concern to the State government who has vowed to bring it down to 0.001% prevalence”.


She added that for the state in achieving the viral suppression of HIV, it has adopted a strategy what she called 90-90-90 strategy to control the HIV transmission in the state. Also she emphasized on prevention of mother to child transmission bringing transmission to zero and achieving epidemic control. She congratulated the VC of Unical for the New HIV youth friendly center.


The Chief Host and Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Professor Florence Banku Obi said the institution have intensify efforts geared at continually placing people and community first through raising awareness on HIV/AIDS prevention, noting that discrimination and ensuring gap between people who have access to HIV services and people who are being left behind is reduced.


She further disclosed that both staff and students are to be involved in  HIV and AIDS activities in the institutions through implicit activities such as orientation of new students to increase awareness of HIV in the institutions. 


Obi noted that the University Community will scale up testing, counseling and awareness campaign among staff and students in a bid to tackle the scourge in the University.


Director General of Cross River State Agency for Control of AIDS (SACA), Dr Etcheri Ansa said that the state government was doing everything humanly possible to eliminate the scourge of the epidemic through the Federal government by supporting all the agencies of government on the downward of the AIDS prevalence in the state. 

Other dignitaries were house committee chairman on Health Hon Ekpo Ekpo Bassey DG Primary Healthcare, CMAC UCTH, partners like FHI360 JEPHIGO UNFPA UNHCR HEARTLAND ALLIANCE AHF CCRN NMWAN, Rotarian Lions amongst others





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