From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has declared that by 2022, in the next 18 months, HIV/AIDS prevalence should be under control in Nigeria.
The Director-General of the agency, Dr Aliyu Gambo, stated this while presenting starter kits to 180 people living with the disease on Friday at the Gumel council area of Jigawa State.
The beneficiaries are persons living with HIV/AIDS in Jigawa who underwent training on six income-generating trades in order to become self-reliant.
According to the DG, the beneficiaries were drawn from the 27 local government areas of the state and have received intensive training in various skills and crafts.
Dr Gambo explained that the gesture was to enable them to become self-reliant and employers of labour, adding that the agency has provided drugs and other medical supports to people living with HIV.
He urged the beneficiaries to use the starter kits judiciously and contribute meaningfully to the economic growth of their communities, the state and the country at large.
Dr Aliyu commended state Governor Badaru Abubakar for responding to the agency’s call for collaboration, which led to the programme.
The DG appealed for assistance in the fight against HIV/AIDS by identifying people living with the disease so that they can receive medication.
In his remarks, Governor Abubakar, who was represented by Commissioner for Works Alhaji Aminu Usman Gumel, commended the agency for the intervention, as he urged the beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the items to achieve the desired goals.
He explained that the state government is working towards bringing the disease under control by providing drugs and test centres at its health facilities.
He said the state government and traditional institutions were creating awareness among people about the disease, prevention and medication.
Also speaking, the state Project Manager of the State Agency for the Control of AIDS (SACA), Alhaji Ibrahim Almajiri, acknowledged that the programme was initiated to support people living with HIV/AIDS towards self-reliance.