By Asma’u Ahmad
The Federal Government has said that the result of Nigeria AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) would determine the burden of HIV/AIDS in the country.
The government also said the outcome of the survey would help it design a better plan for persons living with the scourge.
Dr Greg Ashefor, member of the National Technical Committee of NAIIS, made this known to newsmen while monitoring the exercise on Thursday in Port Harcourt.
He said that the survey was being conducted by the federal government in partner with CDC USA, NACA, NAIIS, UNICEF and WHO, among other stakeholders.
The theme of the survey is “For healthy families: HIV and viral Hepatitis free generation”. Ashefor, who is also the Director of Research and Medical Evaluation, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), said that the ongoing survey was to establish the number of persons with HIV/AIDS in the country.
According to him, the survey will help government to know the number of persons affected with the diseases in the country and to provide adequate treatment and care for the patients.
“The house holds survey conducted for 2018 will help to plan better for HIV/AIDS care and services; it will also enhance the linkage of HIV positive persons to care and also determine the spread of hepatitis A and B in the country,’’ the director said.
He said that the response of persons in various communities in Rivers where the survey was ongoing among the six States in the Web two was commendable.
“Rivers, Ondo, Anambra, Jigawa, Kaduna and Kwara states are the six states mapped out for the survey and the response coming from Rivers state is above 90 per cent; so it is quite commendable. “I am not surprised because there was enough calls, awareness and mobilisation on ground before we started the programme,” he said.
Ashefor also explained that the aim of the survey was for Nigerians to know their health status and to also get the statistics of the accurate number of persons with HIV and Hepatitis as it was estimated in 2017 that 3.2 million persons were leaving with HIV/AIDS in the country.
He said that the tested and affected persons after the survey would be contacted and referred to the health facilities of their choice where they would be receiving free treatment.