By Bianca Iboma-Emefu
As part of efforts to reduce the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), particularly mother-to-child transmission of the virus, the Ogun State government has said that it will continue to integrate and strengthen referral linkages between antenatal care, family planning and sexual and reproductive health services.
Executive secretary/project manager, Ogun State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OGSACA), Dr. Kehinde Fatungase, who made this known at the year 2020 Annual Response Report on HIV/AIDS, at Imodi Mosan, Ijebu-Ode, stated that resources would be harnessed to ensure that the state is free of the virus.
Fatungase, in a statement signed by the agency’s press officer, Mrs. Tomi Soremi, noted that the Governor Dapo Abiodun administration was committed to the wellbeing of women and children, stressing that contraceptive-demand generation programmes for HIV-positive women would be given utmost attention, while the expansion of access to HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to anti-retroviral therapy (ART) services would be monitored.
He added that the agency was targeting at least 80 per cent of people living with HIV and vulnerable children in the three senatorial districts of the state for access to quality service, care and support, just as 90 per cent of all HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women are scheduled to receive ART by the end of 2021.
A consultant on HIV/AIDS in the state, Mrs. Balikis Olorunisola, said the state was passionate on data-gathering and documentation, noting that keeping records of activities with accurate figures was essential for the state’s HIV work plan. Olorunisola admonished participating ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and others to key into the programmes’ analysis, so as to increase prevention and save lives, with the assurance that the state government would institutionalise and strengthen the quality management systems for all ART and viral load assessment services.