By Sadiq Abubakar
About 1,902 out of 236,404 persons tested positive to human immune deficiency virus (HIV) in Borno state between January and December, 2017, Commissioner of Health, Dr Haruna Mshelia, has revealed.
The commissioner disclosed this at a press conference in commemoration of the world HIV/AIDS Day, with the theme “Right to Health” held at the Eye Hospital in Maiduguri at the weekend.
Dr Mshelia explained that the ministry has scaled up HIV services in 237 health facilities across the state in its efforts to achieve the UNAIDS global strategy of 90:90:90 by 2030; meaning 90 per cent of the population should be tested, 90 per cent of those tested positive should be placed on therapy and 90 per cent of those on drugs should have their viral load suppressed. This will go simultaneously intensifying sensitsation and awareness to the public on HIV issues.
He hinted that, although HIV services are donor driven, the state government will implement the 5-year strategic plan and the 4-year sustainability road map this year, in addition to HIV testing service site in 15 IDPs camps, with 42 points as well as 12 antiretroviral therapy sites, including 52 sites for prevention of mother to child transmission.
In a related development, the state government has commence the construction of eight brand new general hospitals doted across the state, in addition to 48 already on ground, to meet up with health related challenges occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The commissioner used the occasion to keep the public abreast of government intervention in the health sector, stressing that so far, Borno has expended about N4.2billion in refurbishing and re-equipping its health facilities with state of the art facilities, such as ultra-sound machines among others.