Government has said it would continue to collaborate with National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA) through its State office, the Abia State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (ABSACA) to reduce the rate of the disease in Abia State.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who stated this in Umuahia at the commissioning of the NACA South East Zonal Office sited in the State, assured that Government would provide a conducive atmosphere to enable the Zonal Office function effectively.
Represented by the State Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, Dr. Ikpeazu also called on SACA Project Managers within the Zonal region to intensity their efforts to achieve the goal of fighting the disease.
He noted that his administration is committed to improving the healthcare of Abia people hence health is one of the pillars of his Government, maintaining that there is no INEC ward in the State without at least a health center.
In his address, the Director General of NACA, Dr. Gambo Gumel Aliyu who noted that the control of HIV/AIDS prevalence starts with identifying people living with the disease, enjoined everyone to know his HIV status by going for the test.
He disclosed that people living with HIV/AIDS who come out to access the drugs live healthy lives, maintain good health and are productive at work places and advised against discrimination against people living with the disease.
He commended the State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, for his commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS disclosing that Abia State is the number one State the made funds available for ABSACA in a bid to fight the scourge.
The Project Manager/Executive Secretary ABSACA, Dr. Ajike Eme Kalu, who explained that sitting the office in the State serves as a springboard to coordinate the activities of HIV/AIDS in the whole of South East from Abia State, assured that they are now poised to fight HIV/AIDS to finish.
Also speaking, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Osuji, informed that with the effort of Dr. Ikpeazu, Abia State has recorded improved health indicator in comparison with other states as well as a reduction in the HIV/AIDS rate from an initial 3.9% to a record 2.1% as a result of the enhanced health policies of the Governor.
Present at the event are the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. ACB Agbazuere, Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Chris Ezem, Commissioners for Joint Project, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Science and Technology, Housing as well as Youths and Sports.