HIV SURGE, DELTA STATE POISES FOR EPIDEMIC CONTROL,
STAKEHOLDERS REVIEWS STRATEGY.
By Frank Iroroh
In efforts to have epidemic control of HIV surge in Delta State, Directors of Private Laboratories in the State and CDC/CCFN had an engagement meeting on 3rd through 4th January 2020.
According to Dr Kingsley Amaihunwa, SSA to the Governor (Health Monitoring), who organised the meeting inconjuction with CDC/CCFN, the review of strategies for combating the HIV surge in the State, became very necessary because, the Nigeria Aids Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) shows Delta State has a HIV prevalence rate of 1.9%, but added that It was discovered, surprisingly, that very many of the infected clients were not linked up to treatment site. A disturbing discovery which required action plans to link atleast a 95% of the HIV positive clients to the treatment sites. ‘Hence the engagement meeting,’ he emphasized.
Dr Amaihunwa, further outlined the specific objectives of the meeting to include; to increase HIV case finding in the state and to ensure effective and efficient linkage of identified positive clients to treatment facilities.
His words, ‘I jointly put up this novel meeting of private Guild of Medical Laboratories Directors(GMLD) in the state, Medical Laboratory Council of Nigeria (MLCN) with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their operational partner, the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria(CCFN). The meeting took place on 3rd and 4th of February 2020 at Top Rank Hotel, Maryam Babangida way, Asaba, Delta State. The meeting was sponsored by CDC Nigeria’
Continuing, he stated, ‘forty two (42) private medical laboratories directors drawn from the three senatorial zones of the state were engaged in the meeting. Sub topics discussed at the meeting includes; Update on Delta State HIV surge, Good Laboratory Practice in HIV Testing, Pre and Post HIV Testing Counseling, Quality Control In HIV Testing and Achieving Epidemic Control in Delta State.’
The SSA, listed the outcome of the meeting to include the follwing benefits; more collaboration between private health facilities and CDC/CCFN, effective and efficient linkage of HIV positive patients to treatment sites, achievement of the target of goals of 95% of identification of infected HIV patients, 95% of linkage of identified clients to treatment facilities at no cost, and 95% viral load suppression for the clients under treatment and ultimate achievement of HIV free generations, U=U, in Delta State.
The stakeholders, therefore pleaded with the state government for better collaboration and supports.