The Oyo State Government has partnered with the US Consul-General to launch the HIV treatment surge programme, adding that the administration will continue to build community programs to ensure the continued availability of HIV treatment services in Oyo State.
In a statement released on Wednesday by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the governor was quoted saying that the program is focused on prioritizing issues that seriously challenge the country’s health care system.
He further added that the Oyo State Government plans to ensure that healthcare services reach the vulnerable, underserved and underprivileged in the state.
The Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun represented the Governor during the launch of the HIV Treatment Surge hosted by the Consul-General, United States Embassy, Claire Pierangelo at the Theophilus Oladipo Ogunlesi Hall, Ibadan
The Consul-General and her delegation had earlier paid a courtesy visit to the governor at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan on Tuesday, where the state delegation and the Consul General discussed mutually beneficial issues.
The Consul-General was later quoted as saying that the launch of the HIV/AIDS Treatment Surge program would ensure that more treatment opportunities would be available for affected people in the state.
She said; “over the years, since 2003, the US Government has provided over 6 Billion Dollars to Nigeria in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. We have 1.2m Nigerians currently under treatment for life.
“So, we are happy to come to Oyo State to identify and put under treatment as many people as possible in the state.
“Additionally, we are looking forward to other areas of cooperation in the aspect of training and immunization of children.”
Speaking while receiving the US delegation, Mrs. Adeosun, speaking on behalf of the Governor, expressed the government’s readiness to partner with the US on the HIV programme and other public health interventions.
She added that the HIV Treatment Surge Programme was consistent with the administration’s health programmes, especially as health is an agenda of the governor’s administration.
She further expressed the Governor’s pleasure with the initiative, which is aimed at increasing HIV case-finding by testing strategically across all 33 LGAs and making free treatment available for positive cases.
She also declared that the governor promised that the state government will provide HIV test kits for 300,000 residents in the state.
Speaking for the governor, she was quoted as saying: “This initiative, among other things, focuses on bringing forth and placing on the front burner issues that seriously challenge the health care system and is still of public health importance. HIV primarily affects those in their most productive years, especially women of reproductive age, children and adolescents.
“It also has a negative impact on households, communities, and economic growth of a country. Access to HIV testing, which is the gateway to prevention, treatment, and care services, is still limited and there is still no cure.
“HIV Treatment Surge Light Launch is expected to increase awareness of communities and health care providers on the need for women of reproductive age group, children, adolescents to get tested for HIV.”