Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The Kebbi State Agency for the Control of AIDS (SACA) and the Kebbi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (KBSPHCDA), in collaboration with the EU-MNCHN Project, has trained 105 health workers and Record Assistants on Provider Initiated Testing and Counselling (PITC) on Humane Immune Virus (HIV).
A Medical Laboratory Scientist, who is the State HIV Focal Person with Kebbi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Abubakar Muhammad Dodo, speaking with reporters, stated this shortly after the training at Kebbi Medical Center in Kalgo, noting that the training was to ensure outreach to 1,050 remote settlements in all 21 Local Government Areas.
They were assembled to carry out provider initiated testing and counselling on HIV/AIDS along with their integrated maternal, newborn and child health interventions conducted in these hard to reach areas where health services are not accessible.
Muhammad explained that the trained healthcare providers are expected to integrate the skills they acquired on HIV/AIDS testing in the discharge of their activities in these remote areas. Children who are severely malnourished would also be tested.
“The health workers or providers have received adequate training on how to diagnose a pregnant woman and child, and once the mother is identified to be HIV positive, she will be referred to the nearest PMTCT site, where she would undergo medical care from pregnancy, labour to delivery. This would ensure Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV, thereby preventing new cases,” Dodo told newsmen.
“Once the pregnant woman is diagnosed with HIV, she will be placed on HIV drugs immediately and also her offspring will receive proper medical care.”
He said that the essence of celebrating World HIV/AIDS Day was to create awareness of the scourge of the disease, fight stigmatisation and give support to people living with HIV/AIDS.
According to him, Kebbi State has a prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS at about 0.6 percent. He stressed the need for continuous and concerted efforts by all stakeholders to eliminate the scourge.
“According to the National AIDS Indicator, Kebbi still has 0.6 percent of HIV/AIDS; if effort is not put in place to check the transmission of the disease, the population not currently affected are at risk of becoming affected by the scourge of HIV/ AIDS,” the medical professional warned.