As part of efforts to encourage residents of Oyo State to know their HIV status and leave healthy life, the State Government has conducted Free HIV Testing for residents.
This was done in commemoration of the year 2023 World AIDS Day which was carried out in Saki East Local Government.
Speaking at the free medical outreach on Monday, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Oluwaserimi Ajetumobi maintained that the prevalence of HIV has progressively declined in Oyo State over the years, adding that the state is on course towards achieving the UNAIDS targets of ensuring that at least 95% of people with HIV are detected and aware of their status by the year 2030.
According to Dr Ajetumobi, it is estimated that 44,973 individuals are living with HIV in Oyo State.
She stressed that the state government has successfully placed about 40,000 of these individuals on treatment stressing that the state was able to record these achievements due to the painstaking efforts due to the political will of Governor Seyi led administration as well as the strong collaboration of other partners, including APIN, SFH, IHVN, BA-N, and WHO, amongst others has enabled it prevention through targeted interventions.
Dr. Ajetumobi in her address said, “The roles of our CSOs and CBOs, private facilities, and organizations have been equally crucial in this regard. These efforts have been carried out within a setting of strong community commitment and support to the course.
“In all of these, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, is ever committed to ensuring an HIV-free State through the provision of both human and physical infrastructure that will not only assist the health workers to deliver quality HIV services but will also create an enabling environment for our partners to operate.”
“I use this medium to encourage everyone to take advantage of the HIV testing services being offered in over 1600 health service delivery points across the 33 Local Government Areas of the State to know our HIV status.
“Testing opportunities are provided during our special events, such as Maternal-Newborn and Child Health Week and TB Testing Week. Today’s commemoration of World AIDS Day offers those of us present here today an opportunity for testing as HIV testing and other tests and services are currently ongoing in our stands within this venue.”
“Those who test negative are encouraged to remain negative by following well-known preventive measures highlighted in the fliers and posters shared today. We are encouraged to adopt responsible sexual practices. Abstinence, faithfulness to your partner, and protected sex are encouraged. We should also be mindful of other exposures to HIV, from sharing needles and sharps to receiving care and blood transfusions from unsafe sources.”
“All pregnant mothers are advised to take advantage of the HIV prevention services available in our facilities through our ante-natal clinics. This is important to allow them to have a safe delivery of children who would be free from HIV and other childhood health conditions.”
“Our health facilities are encouraged to sustain measures to protect their clients and their health workers by providing all necessary protective equipment in their various facilities. Health workers are advised to continue to take universal precautions. Those who inadvertently get exposed to the virus through needle pricks, cuts and splashes of body fluid in the line of duty are advised to take advantage of post-exposure prophylaxis made available in the facilities.”
The Commissioner however stated emphatically that the state government frowns at discrimination against people living with AIDS and will not hesitate to take action against individuals, groups, employers or anyone who stigmatizes people living with HIV in accordance with the provisions of the State anti-stigma laws.”
All the traditional rulers in attendance at the event lauded the state government for the initiative, they also called for immediate rehabilitation of primary health centers in Saki East local government area of the state as they lamented seriously over the deficit of primary health centers in their communities.
Other highlights of the event includes distribution of souvenirs to the participants, donations of health commodities among others.