Following the release of the National HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) report, which recorded a 5.5 percent Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) prevalence in Akwa Ibom State, the state government, through the Ministry of Health and Akwa Ibom State Agency for Control of AIDS (AKSACA), has commissioned the Digital HIV Situation Room, tricycles, motorcycles and other equipment for use in the HIV surge intervention in the State.
The event held at the weekend on the premises of the State Ministry of Health State Secretariat, Uyo.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, said that, the exercise was a demonstration of government commitment to the health of every citizen of Akwa Ibom State.
He further noted that, the items were made available through funding from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support the HIV surge response currently being implemented by Family Health International (FHI360) under the Strengthening Integrated Delivery of HIV/AIDS Services (SIDHAS) project, in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State government.
The SSG noted that Akwa Ibom state has taken the lead in the surge response with FHI360 and other USAID implementing partners, providing technical assistance towards achieving HIV epidemic control.
Other items included, 21 tricycles and 10 motorcycles for rural logistics and transportation, 23 tele-video conferencing and communication equipment, 39 solar desktops for e-clinics, 1000 pre-loaded closed user group (CUG) phones with registered SIM cards and 25 shelf cabinets were commissioned for the same purpose.
He described the HIV Digital Situation Room as the “HIV/AIDS RADAR”, which is the first of its kind in the country; adding that, people can be wealthy when they are healthy.
The governor representative commended the effort of the United States Government towards the state and thanked FHI360 for leading the surge response together with other USAID implementing partners and stakeholders.
The commissioning event was part of the 10th Expanded SIDHAS Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting and the Akwa Ibom State Joint Community Advisory Committee (AKSCAC) meeting.
Earlier, the state commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, commended the Governor, Director General (DG) of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Gambo Aliyu, the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), FHI360 and key stakeholders for making the event a success.
He promised to put the items to good use in the health facilities, with the sole aim of striving towards the goal of achieving HIV control in the state.