High HIV/AIDS Stastistics in Anambra Worries Obi’s WifeIgnatius Okpara Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
….Laments 700 Prostitution Spots in the State
Ignatius Okpara, Enugu
Anambra state first lady, and wife of the Governor, Mrs. Margaret Peter-Obi has expressed worry over the alarming rate of HIV/AIDS carriers in the state, currently put at four hundred thousand (400,000) people out of the about five Million (5 Million) population in the area.
Speaking during the 2013 World Aids day in Awka, Mrs. Obi advised those living with disease not to loose hope, because one day it will no longer be a life and death issue.
She however, lamented that about 50, 000 people living with the virus in the state have no access to the anti-retroviral treatment which is a lifesaving treatment and therefore, charged them to avail themselves of the opportunity others in clusters were benefiting from.
The governor’s wife reminded the sufferers, that the Governor Peter Obi led administration had given each of the clusters items such as, N130,000 cash donation and 8 bags of rice, 8 bags of beans, cartons of Milo food drinks, cartons of custard and Crayfish to mention but a few as support.
She told them that HIV/AIDS is like every other disease of which if they follow the directives on the medication, they would live longer and happier.
The state number one woman, charged them not to neglect acquiring a skill from the free skill acquisition centers in the state made available for them by government.
She had hinted that the Director General of National Agency for the Control of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Prof. John Idoko had some time ago, received three operational vehicles and a trailer load of AIDS kits for management of AIDS in Anambra state from the Governor Peter Obi, on behalf of the Anambra State Aids Control Agency (ANSACA).
The governor’s wife, said that the Governor had raised the alarm on the high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the state and ordered for immediate procurement of HIV testing kits worth over One Billion naira (N1 Billion) to be distributed to all hospitals and health centers in the state.
She told the gathering that the State Government will soon commence demolition of all brothels and other centres that encourage prostitution, even as she further directed prostitutes to vacate the state immediately and urged the people not to discriminate against people living with HIV and AIDs, but to show them love and compassion.
She also disclosed that she recently visited the nine (9) HIV/AIDS clusters in the state excluding those with the Primary Health Centers, and lamented the prevalence rate in the state, appealing to those living with the virus to live positively so as to avoid spreading the disease.
The Anambra First Lady, equally was not happy with the information from Anambra state Action Committee on AIDS (ANSACA) that the state had a little below 700 prostitution spots, urging the organisation, to work seriously at reducing the number of such unholy places, as it could be transmission points.
Mrs Obi announced that she had visited Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Hospital Ihiala, St Andrews Anglican Church D C C Nnewi , General Hospital Ekwulobia , St Joseph the Worker Hospital Adazi-Nnukwu, General Hospital Awka and General Hospital Enugu-Ukwu.
Other hospital visited were St Charles Boromeo Hospital Onitsha , Rush Gran Hospital Onitsha, General Hospital Onitsha. There are other registered groups in almost all the Primary Health Centers in Anambra state like Okpuno, Nibo , Umuokpu to mention but a few.
ANSACA, had hinted that in a survey by the state Coordinator, Dr Ndibe, it identified six hundred and eighteen prostitution spots where prostitution thrive in the state.
The ANSACA boss, said ’’these places are not brothels in the true sense of the word, but joints where prostitution thrive. Some are streets and bars as well as identified brothels.
“And you know prostitution assists HIV/AIDS to spread. So we identified 618 spots where people aggregate for the purposes of prostitution but I will like to appeal to the Governor not to demolish the brothels or joints where these people are found to enable us access them with interventions.
‘’I am sure it is better and I am advocating for that because if you demolish the brothels, the prostitutes and those who patronize them will go underground making it impossible for interventions and the spread would be unimaginable.
Continuing,” it is better these people in this business are identified by the public and everybody would be on the alert than going underground and the spread becomes something else” the ANSACA chief advised.
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