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HIV sweeping through Borno IDP Camps

Borno Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (BOSACA) says 3,800 new cases of HIV infections have been recorded in internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in Borno state in the last three months.

Barkindo Saidu, executive secretary, Borno Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (BOSACA), said in Maiduguri on Wednesday that the new cases were recorded after voluntary screening in 15 IDP camps in the state.

According to him, currently 2.4 percent of the population of the state or about 108,000 persons are living with HIV and AIDS, going by the demographic survey provided by the National Population Commission.

He explained that only 32 out of the 90 anti-retroviral centres were still operational in the state.

According to the agency, Borno state was only able to achieve nine per cent out of its HIV reduction prevalence rate within the last six years.

“This was because the government and other support partners have not given priority attention to the plight of such persons.

Saidu noted that “Governor Shettima had approved N45 million counterpart funding for HIV development programmes since December 2016, but the fund is yet to be released.

“Three months ago, I wrote a letter to about 29 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to come to the plight of such persons but only UNICEF is assisting.

“On March 30, the federal government had received grant for HIV, TB and Malaria from Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Maleria (GPATM). We cannot access this fund until the state government provide counterpart support funding.”

The executive secretary, therefore, renewed his appeal to the state government to release the counterpart fund and urged NGOs to support people living with HIV/AIDS.

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