BENIN CITY – Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG) Professor Julius Ihonvbere said the state government through the State Agency for the control of AIDS Edo SACA, is working tirelessly to mitigate the impact of the virus.”
In this wise, he said the state government has enhanced the capacity of Edo SACA, both in attention on the material resources to enable it focus attention on the entire population, particularly on the vulnerable groups.
Professor Ihonvbere who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the office of the SSG, Alhaji Momodu Abu was speaking at a two day interactive meeting organized in Benin City by Health Finance and Government (HFG) project in collaboration with Edo SACA.
HFG is a five-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project and managed by ABT Associates.
The SSG listed the vulnerable groups to include women, young people, children, female sex workers, children, prisoners, migrants and itinerary workers.
Pledging the state government commitment to contribute its quota to control the spread of the virus in the state, Professor Ihonvbere disclosed that its ravaging nature is of common knowledge.
According to him, available statistics indicated that in Edo State, 78,000 persons are infected with the AIDS virus while 19,000 are currently on anti-retroviral medication and corresponding counseling.
In recognition of the fact that lots still need to be done, he expressed the need to establish and sustain funding channels that could guarantee sustainable HIV private sector.
He expressed the need to fashion out a clear way forward on domestic funding sources for HIV/AIDS activities since the number of funding partners is gradually reducing.
Chief of party, HGH Project, Dr. Lekan Obademi in his presentation titled: Resource Mobilisation for HIV/AIDS Programme: Focus on states,” noted that there are socio-economic and political consequencies of under funding HIV/AIDS response.
According to him, states and local government responsive as they could be, even within the Nigeria’s federal structure of government.
He also disclosed that global response of donor agencies is reducing against the backdrop of global economic and political crisis, adding that priorities of foreign partners are changing.
The interactive meeting is expected to end today.