The wife of Akwa Ibom Governor, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, has decried the high rate of HIV/AIDs prevalence in Akwa Ibom state, saying that concerted efforts need to be put in place to stem the spread of the scourge.
According to the governor’s wife, the 2014 report from the Federal Ministry of Health which placed the state second in the country with 10.8percent placed the state on red alert and as such needs to be curbed.
Speaking when she received a delegation of the Akwa Ibom State Agency for the Control of Aids (AKSACA) who came on a courtesy visit to her office, Mrs. Emmanuel asserted that with more collaborative measures from health stakeholders in the state, the prevalence rate would soon be reduced to its minimum.
While asserting that her pet project, Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme (FEYReP) will partner with the Agency to work out modalities to combat the menace, the first lady stressed the need for more sensitization and enlightenment programmes by the agency on the public.
She called on the people especially youths to abstain from pre-marital sexual activities to reduce the HIV and AIDS pandemic and stressed that “sex is only for married couples.”
In his remark, the Project manager of AKSACA, Dr. Nkeruwem Etok said the visit was to enable the agency collaborate with FEYReP towards reaching the young people and women whom he said are drivers of the disease.
He noted that the agency established in 2011 has been working assiduously to reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS by providing appropriate gender, cultural sensitive information and treatment, care and support services to mitigate aids impact in the state.
Dr. Etok said as part of the agency efforts in combating the disease, anti-HIV test club has been initiated in all tertiary institution in the state. He also noted that over over150 health caregivers have been earmarked to work through community outreach efforts to curb the situation at the grassroots, adding that with the partnership, more impact will be created.
The highpoint of the visit was the decoration of the governor’s wife with the agency’s say no to AIDS lapel.