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C'River Set To Curtail HIV/AIDs Prevalent Rate In Border Communities

Commissioner for Health in Cross River State, Dr Henry Ayuk has stated that the State government is fine-tuning appropriate modalities to tackle the high prevalent rate of HIV/AIDS noticed along borderline communities across the State.

According to Dr Ayuk, such an intervention plan constitutes a core agenda in the itinerary of this year's World Aids Day campaign programme drawn up by his ministry as part of increasing efforts to checkmate the spread of the dreaded disease along the flashpoints.

The commissioner who stated this while interacting with journalists in his office in Calabar, disclosed that drastic steps are being considered to curtail the disturbing rate.

He attributed the increase in confirmed cases to unchecked interaction among citizens of border communities between neighbouring States.

He listed Cameroon, Akwa Ibom, Benue, and neighboring States as hot spots and focal points for intervention measures to curtail the high prevalent rate.

His words: "HIV Data show that the epicentres of HIV are in local communities next to Cameroon where people there are pockets of unchecked movements in Cross River State.  There are such places in neighbouring States like Obanliku LGA which is next to Benue State. There are such places, too, next to Akwa Ibom State and other nearby States.

"HIV prevalence in the State which has reduced from 12 percent to two percent is mostly in borderline communities.

The commissioner said the State has met over 70% of HIV expectations, adding that this is on the average even though they record deaths daily.

He explained that the theme for the 2023 World AIDS Day: Communities -  Leadership  To End AIDs By 2030', highlights the need for synergy among stakeholders to ensure the attainment of set goals with mass testing and community sensitization.

The Permanent Secretary of the State's primary health care development agency, Dr. Etim Ayi who also spoke called for a concerted effort to minimise the unrestricted infiltrations to avert new HIV cases in the state.

He emphasised the importance of community involvement, saying this is very necessary.

In his remarks, the Acting Chairman of the State Action Committee Against AIDS, SACA, Dr Paul Odey said they need all amount of support from leaders, communities, faith-based organisations, and stakeholders to stem HIV.

By Ekanem Asuquo, The Beagle News