HIV ravages Bauchi, 4,079 infected
.Patient receiving treatment.
By Rita Michael
The Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Tubaerculosis , Leprosy and Malaria (BACATMA) has disclosed that 4,079 persons in Bauchi State are HIV positive from January to September 2017.
The agency’s Executive Secretary, Dr Mansur Mustapha Dada, disclosed this while marking the 2017 World AIDS Day with theme " Right to Health: Make it happen". In Bauchi.
He explained that out of the number of HIV victims in the state, a total of 247,990 persons have been counseled, tested and received results in 2017.
The executive secretary said that out of 181 HIV pregnant women in the state, 107,771 had been counseled, tested and received results during the period under review.
He said that from January to September 2017, a total of 382 HIV-exposed babies were delivered.
According to him, the state has a total of 196 HIV counseling and testing sites, 23 Anti-Retroviral Treatment sites and 113 Prevention of Mother to Children Transmission sites (PMTCT) in Tertiary, Secondary and Primary Health Facilities.
On the achievements of the agency, Mansur said that the agency from 2015- 2017, expanded PMTCT/HCT sites to at least 1 per ward for the 323 wards, adding that the 113 sites had been expanded to 171, hoping to become fully operational by January 2018.
Other achievements, according to the secretary, include the enactment of law by Bauchi State House of Assembly against discrimination of HIV positive clients and premarital screening for HIV and HB Genotype, establishment of state-of-the-arts Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at BACATMA and development of Bauchi State HIV/AIDs Response Strategic plan 2017-2021, among others.
He said that the agency plans to implement the Bauchi State HIV Response Sustainability Road Map which will guide the state government in gradual takeover of external donor heavily dependent programme as well as sustain and expand of awareness creation activities to the populace of adolescents and young adults.
He listed some of the challenges of the agency to include limited access to PMTCT and HCT services, stigma and discrimination, rising new infection among adolescents and young adults, inefficient supply chain system of HIV commodities, poor follow-up of HIV exposed infants among other challenges.