By Becky John
Dr Stephen John, the Executive Secretary of Adamawa State Agency for the Control of Aids (ADSACA), has expressed concern over the adverse effect of the current insurgency on the fight against HIV/AIDs in the state. John said in an interview with the News men on Monday in Yola that the insurgency had set back the gains recorded in the fight against the disease. He said that, before the displacement of people due to the insurgency, the agency had succeeded in reducing the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the state from 6 per cent to 1. 9 per cent.
“We have a situation where people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS from across the state, neighbouring states and even countries like Central Africa Republic flooding Adamawa because of insurgency and unrest.
“We have it on record that over 6, 000 people living with HIV/AIDS that were on treatment in Hong, Mubi, Maiha, Gombi, Michika and Madagali Local Government Areas were displaced due to the destruction caused by the insurgents.
“This is a huge problem and a big risk when you have this type of scenario,” John said.
The executive secretary explained that apart from destruction and looting of HIV/AIDS equipment at the affected areas, records of patients were also destroyed by the insurgents.
He said ADSACA in collaboration with a donor organization, FHI 360 and the state Primary Healthcare Agency were tracking displaced patients in camps and other places, in order to link them up with treatment.
On challenges of funding, the executive secretary said that the agency had forwarded a memo to the state governor to settle unpaid counterpart contribution to the World Bank, which accumulated since 2011.
John explained that the failure to pay the counterpart fund had slowed down the rate of implementation of HIV/AIDS programme in the state.