To ensure provision of qualitative and affordable healthcare services to the people of Ogun State, the State government has granted HIV positive patients free access to treatment in all health facilities in the State.
The Director, Ogun State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OGSACA) in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Toyin Adeyemi, made this known during HIV Counselling and Testing Outreach (HCT) with the support of the World Bank Supported Community HCT Outreach (WBSCHCTO) to community members, at Ifo and Odeda Local Government Areas of the State.
|A Youth Corp member being tested for HIV|
He said out of 6,577 members of the Communities registered for the counselling exercise, 2,447 were counselled and tested while 2,424 were negative. Dr. Adeyemi said the free counselling and testing exercise was aimed at capturing the total numbers of HIV infected persons in the State, adding that the Governor was interested in the plight of the infected members of the public.
“The Governor has made it mandatory that those tested positive should not pay throughout the duration of their treatment, therefore the infected people would be referred to the nearest health facility for free treatment”, Adeyemi said. While urging members of the public, particularly the youth to be mindful of relationships they keep, the Director said if they were not 100 per cent sure of their partners HIV status, it would be safer for them to make use of condoms and other precautionary method.
Also speaking, the State HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing Officer, Mrs. Lola Oluga, said the free counseling and testing activities carried out in Ifo and Odeda LGA respectively would be extended to other Local Government Areas of the State. She said the exercise was aimed at sensitizing rural communities on their HIV status, urging the public to go for regular check up for early detection and management.
Mrs. Oluga said those who were found positive would have access to free anti- retroviral drugs, noting that Government would leave no stone unturned at ensuring that HIV/AIDS was reduced to the barest minimum in the State.
This story was published in Newswatch Times on August 15, 2015.