By Becky John
No fewer than five million Nigerians are to benefit from the free medical outreach in four states organized by NACA/SURE-P HIV/AIDS programme. Mrs Stella Agbim, Head, Corporate Communication, NACA, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja that the four-day exercise would hold in Kano, Oyo, Akwa Ibom and Benue states.
She said the exercise, which commenced on Monday, Feb. 23, would end on Thursday, Feb. 26.
According to her, the service covers essential medical services, blood pressure, blood sugar, height and weight to determine the body mass index.
“Any other complaints are being attended to by doctors where prescriptions are made; drugs are also provided free.
“For those who tested positive to HIV, they would be linked to facilities that provide Anti-Retroviral Drugs,’’ she said. Agbim said that the programme was aimed at making people to understand that HIV/AIDS is like hypertension or diabetes.
“These are non-communicable diseases and they are chronic and when anybody has it he will manage it for life.
“All these diseases one needs to be taking drugs to manage it for life, we merge it with all other diseases to reduce stigma attached to HIV,’’ she said.
The spokesperson said reports from the states where the exercise was conducted indicated high patronage by communities where the services are rendered.
According to Agbim, the Executive Secretary, Benue State Agency for the Control of AIDS, Mrs Grace Wende, said Gboko local government area said did not benefit from the exercise conducted in the state.
“Gboko is central to Benue state capital and home to a major cement producing company in the state which make the area prone to HIV challenges,” she said.
She also advised people to ascertain their status through the programme rather than taking the exercise to major cities where so many partners provide services.
Wende made the remark during a recent SURE-P/NACA HIV/AIDS advocacy visits to the state.