Maiduguri – Five Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri have tested positive to HIV/AIDS after they were screened for malaria and HIV/AIDS.
The exercise was conducted by a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Business and Professional Women (BPW).
Dr Ismaila Watila, the leader of the group, stated this in an Interview with newsmen in Maiduguri.
Watila said that the five IDPs were part of the 1,000 so far screened by the group.
“We are conducting free screening for IDPs on HIV, malaria and other disease conditions.
“The programme is being conducted by the BPW in conjunction with the National Agency for Control of Aids (NACA) and the Sure P,” he said.
Watila said the aim of the programme was to ascertain the health status of the IDPs and prevent disease spread among them.
“We started on Monday and so far, we have screened over 1,000 out of the 8,000 IDPs in the camp.
“Out of these only five have tested positive to HIV/AIDS,” he said.
Watila said that the number represented 0.5 percent of the population of those screened at the camp.
“Statistically, the number appeared insignificant as it represents just about 0.5 percent of those screened.
“But as a doctor, I see the number as alarming, because it is a dangerous trend,” he said.
He said that the affected IDPs had already been counseled and referred for treatment.
“What we do usually is to treat those who tested positive to malaria and other diseases immediately.
“Those who tested positive to HIV/AIDS will be counseled and transferred to the state Specialists Hospital for proper medication,” he said.
Watila said that the team was also conducting enlightenment campaigns to the IDPs on the need to maintain a healthy living.
“We also conduct education campaigns to enlighten the IDPs on how to play safe.
“The whole thing is to reduce the prevalence of disease condition in the camps,” he said.
Watila said that the group decided to launch the program at the NYSC Camp, Maiduguri, because it was the largest IDPs camp in the state.
“We started in the NYSC Camp because it is the largest out of the seven IDPs camps in Maiduguri.
“We are trying to ensure that the IDPs maintain healthy living even after they return home,” he said.