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If We Don’t Stop AIDS/HIV, HIV And AIDS will Stop Us

The Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikuinyi Owaji Ibani has called on all relevant stakeholders to join hands in combating the scourge of the dreaded HIV and AIDS.

Ibani made this call when a delegation from the United States Agency for International Development visited him in his office today, 16th January 2017, noting that if nothing is done to stop the disease, then it has no alternative but to stop us all.

While assuring USAID of the support of the assembly, the speaker admonished them to carry out adequate sensitization at the rural areas.

“for us as an institution, we will continue to partner with development programmes that would better the lives of our people, any partnership that would not improve the welfare of our people would not be entered into, now that we have moved from the MDGs to the SDGs it is our hope that the pandemic of AIDS be reduced, having come this far, we wish that USAID should do its best to reduce the scourge in our society”

He expressed great concern that women are the most vulnerable, noting: “women are the most vulnerable, so anything that we will do to make them not to suffer from any preventable disease, we will do”

“when you take care of the woman, the society is properly protected, but if they are not protected, then we the men are not protected” he noted.

He was responding to an appeal for partnership made by the agency.

The Senior Advisor in the office of HIV, AIDS and Tuberculosis USAID, Nigeria, Dr Bassey Nsa had earlier while revealing that a total number of 120,000 persons is infected with HIV AIDS in Rivers State, pleaded for support.

Out of this number, he noted that over a thousand are pregnant women, and called on the state government to join hands with them to fight it.

He explained that the agency spends over 120m dollars per month to combat the disease, but that for now it could not do much, sequel to the scarcity of funds.

He said it was the programme of the USAID to concentrate on pregnant women, ” but the test kits are not there because the United States government has been just able to procure the little that it can, which is not enough, that is why we have come to partner with you” he averred.

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