US Consul General, Ogun State Seek Collaboration Against HIV
The Ogun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, and Will Stevens, the Consul General of the United States Consulate in Lagos, are seeking the collaboration of all stakeholders to increase awareness in regards to citizens knowing their Human Immunodeficiency Virus status.
They both spoke in Osogbo at the launching of the Osun Art Surge Project, an initiative of Excellence Community Education and Welfare Scheme, aiming at delivering comprehensive and sustainable HIV/AIDS clinical and community services to achieve HIV epidemic control in sub-national units of Delta, Ekiti and Osun states.
The initiative is funded by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Adeleke, who was represented at the event by his deputy, Kola Adewusi, where he was pronounced “State Surge Champion,” said that in the first five months of active surge implementation, Osun had seen a leap in treatment coverage of 12%.
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He further said, “In closing, I want to reaffirm our commitment to achieving an HIV-free society in Osun State. We have come a long way, but we know there is still much work to be done. Together, we can and will continue to make progress towards our goal of ending HIV/AIDS in our state and Nigeria as a whole.”
Commending health workers and other stakeholders for working hard to ensure that no person living with HIV in Osun was left behind, Adeleke accepted his nomination as the ‘State Surge Champion’ and promised to designate a state official to coordinate the activities of the project.
Speaking on why Osun was the focus of the project, ECEWS Project Director for HIV Treatment for Osun, Ekiti, and Delta States, Dr. Okezie Onyedinachi, said as of 2022, 29,000 people were living with HIV in the state adding that 16,000 had been put on treatment.
Okezie Onyedinachi said others not yet on treatment must be reached before 2025, noting that the Surge project was designed to find those living with HIV in the state, who have not commenced treatment.
Stevens, the US Consul General, urged for partnership and combined efforts to reach the most vulnerable citizens and make them get tested and treated.