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2023 World HIV/AIDS DAY: Ogun Allocates N1.6 Billion Over Three Years As 46,000 Tested Positive

Daud Olatunji

Ogun State has allocated a substantial sum of N1,625,295,557.97 to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic, between 2021 and 2023, according to financial records accessed from the  state Accountant-General/Permanent Secretary, Tunde Aregbesola, on the www.openstatesfund portal.

The state government, through the Action Committee on AIDS, unveiled its commitment with approved budgets of NN660,000,000.00, N499,999,973.97, and N525,295,584.30 in 2021, 2022, and 2023 respectively. 

The records showed that  N14,000,000 was expended in 2021, N34,412,000.00 in 2022, with no specific expenditure stated for 2023.

Despite these financial strides, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, revealed a sobering reality — over 46,143 individuals in Ogun State are living with HIV/AIDS. 

Of these, 33,489 have been identified and placed on sustained treatment, leaving 12,654 yet to be reached.

Dr. Coker asserted, “Our communities are pivotal to any successful response to HIV/AIDS because they are well-positioned to address both the social and cultural factors that contribute to HIV transmission.”

 She emphasized the significance of community involvement in achieving the UNAIDS 95-95-95 2030 goal of zero HIV infection.

To bolster testing capabilities, the state has established 400 testing centers across its 20 local government areas, reaching a total of 782,005 people tested between 2020 and 2023.

Despite a prevalence rate of 1.6%, 12,654 HIV-positive individuals lack access to Anti-Retroviral Therapy.

The theme of the 2023 World AIDS Day celebration, “Communities: Leadership To End AIDS by 2030,” resonates with Ogun State’s approach. 

Dr. Coker highlighted the expansion of health facilities providing HIV services from 198 in 2019 to 497 in November 2023. Additionally, comprehensive treatment centers have surged from 22 to 43.

Dr. Kehinde Fatungase, the Executive Secretary of Ogun State Action Committee of HIV/AIDS, urged the populace, especially the youth, to utilize the HIV test centers set up in tertiary institutions. 

 

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