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Gombe Health Apparatus to develop sustainable programmes to fight HIV/AIDS

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

The Gombe State Government has directed the State’s Ministry of Health, the State Agency for the Control of AIDS (GOMSACA) and the Primary Healthcare Development Agency to develop a sustainability roadmap to uphold the successes recorded in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the state.

The directive was made through the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Njoɗi, when he played host a high-powered State Response Team, Gombe State Agency for the Control of AIDS (GOMSACA), in company of the National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) and Center for Integrated Health Programs (CIHP) together with other stakeholders and development partners during a courtesy visit at the Government House.

According to him, HIV/AIDS remains a source of concern for the State Government, and would do everything possible to mitigate its impact and spread in the state.

While commending the team for its commitments to reducing the effects of the disease to a bearable minimum in the state, the SSG assured that the State Government will device sustainability means to uphold the successes recorded through the tireless efforts and contributions of development partners.

“We noted your concern on issues of sustainability. If I may loosely express, we cannot continue as beggars – always waiting for support from partners. Everyone is trying to donate world over; we must equally do our best in serving humanity,” he stressed.

He, therefore, directed the line ministry and the agency concerned to device means for sustaining the fight and successes, adding that, the State Ministry of Health, Permanent Secretary, Executive Secretary Primary Healthcare Development Agency, should take note; Project Manager GOMSACA all should take note.

He challenging them to device workable means of sustainability and come up with a road map on how the government can sustain this feat,” he added.

Prof Njoɗi equally assured the team that the State Government will look into the office under which GOMSACA would best be situated, for proper coordination and management.

He added that the State Government will liaise with The State House of Assembly to provide a legal backing that will guarantee timely prosecution and execution of perpetrators of child abuse and stigmatization against people living with HIV/AIDS in the state.

While restating the commitment of the State Government, the SSG said the Inuwa Yahaya-led administration will employ more hands into the State’s Civil Service to address issues of staff shortages, and will ensure more than 200 go to the healthcare sector for effective service delivery.

Speaking earlier, leader of the delegation (Project Manager GOMSACA), Hassan Muhammad Dawaki, updated the secretary on the activities and successes recorded by the team in Gombe State.

Dawaki equally highlighted some challenges faced by the team to include gender and human rights violations for people living with HIV/AIDS, inadequate test kits, among others, and appealed for an Executive Bill to the state’s House of Assembly to ensure speedy prosecution of violators of human rights as well as perpetrators of gender violence.

Speaking also, team leader of Center for Integrated Health Programs (CIHP), Emli Madina, commended the performance of GOMSACA Response Team for the excellent successes recorded in fight against the disease.

According to her, Gombe State parameters are above average, as the state is taking lead in most sectors, attributing the successes to the support and cooperation they enjoy from the State Government and other stakeholders.

She said, “The program is poised to ensuring quality and equitable distribution of health services by supporting agencies to improve on the healthcare service delivery,” while noting that, “With CIHP interventions in the state, a reduction from 5.8 to 1.3 HIV/AIDS prevalence was recorded,” and urged the State Government to take ownership of the project for proper sustainability.

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