—–laments 700 prostitution spots in Anambra
—-charges ANSACA to intensify efforts in reducing HIV/AIDS
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha
Wife of Anambra state Governor, Mrs. Margaret Peter-Obi yesterday lamented that over four hundred thousand (400,000) people out of the over five Million (5 Million) population in Anambra state are suffering from HIV/AIDS.
The figure according to Anambra state Director of Action Committee of AIDS (ANSACA), Dr John Ndibe represents 8.7 percent sexually active group in the population of 5 Million people in the state.
Speaking on the 2013 World Aids day yesterday , Obi’s wife charged those living with HIV/AIDS focusing on the need for education , activism and compassion and hoped that one day HIV/ADIS will no longer be a life and death issue . She charged those living with it to find out the facts and bust the myths about HIV and listen to the real stories of people living with HIV rather than myths fabricated to create fear in them.
She lamented that about 50, 000 people living with the HIV/AIDS virus in the state have no access to the anti retroviral treatment which is a life saving treatment and charged them to avail themselves of the opportunity others in clusters were benefiting from.
She reminded that the Governor Peter Obi led government had given each of the clusters N130,000 cash donation and 8 bags of rice,8 bags of beans, cartons of Milo, cartons of custard and Crayfish to mention but a few as support.
She further reminded them that HIV/AIDS is like every other disease of which if they follow the directives on medication and live health they would live longer and happier; charging them not to neglect acquiring a skill from the free skill acquisition centers in the state made available for them by the state government.
Obi’s wife reminded that she visited the nine (9) HIV/AIDS clusters in the state excluding those with the Primary Health Centers and lamented the prevalence rate in the state and appealed to those living with the virus to live positively to avoid spreading the virus.
The Anambra First Lady equally was not happy with the information from Anambra state Action Committee on AIDS (ANSACA) that the state had a little below 700 prostitution spots but she charged them to work seriously at reducing the prostitution points as it could be transmission points.
ANSACA in a survey by the state Coordinator of ANSACA , Dr John Ndibe identified six hundred and eighteen prostitution spots where prostitution thrive in Anambra.
He had told Nation in an exclusive interview that ,’’ these places are not brothels in the true sense of the word but joints where prostitution thrive. Some are streets and bars as well as identified brothels.
‘’And you know prostitution assists HIV/AIDS to spread. So we identified 618 spots where people aggregate for the purposes of prostitution but I will like to appeal to the Governor not to demolish the brothels or joints where these people are found to enable us assess them with interventions.
Ndibe continued ,‘’I am sure it is better and I am advocating for that because if you demolish the brothels, the prostitutes and those who patronize them will go underground making it possible for interventions and the spread would be unimaginable.
‘’ These people must be in the business and it is better they are identified by the public and everybody would be on the alert than going underground and the spread becomes something else.
On estimate of people living with HIV/AIDS, Ndibe differed the figure to avoid wrong interpretation until last survey comes in within the week.
Obi’s wife reminded that the Director General of National Agency for the Control of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Prof. John Idoko had received three operational vehicles and a trailer load of AIDS kits for management of AIDS in Anambra state from the Governor,, Mr Peter Obi for the Anambra State Aids Control Agency (ANSACA).
She said that the Governor had raised an alarm on the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the state and ordered for immediate procurement of HIV testing kits worth over One Billion naira (N1 Billion) to be distributed to all hospitals and health centers in the state. She reminded that the State Government will soon commence demolition of all brothels and other centres that encourage prostitution even as he further directed prostitutes to vacate the state immediately and urged the people not to discriminate against people living with HIV and AIDs, but to show them love and compassion, adding that all necessary measures were being put in place to protect the State against adverse effects of flood this year.
Obi’s reminded that she had visited Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Hospital Ihiala, St Andrews Anglican Church D C C Nnewi , General Hospital Ekwulobia , St Joseph the Worker Hospital Adazi-Nnukwu, General Hospital Awka and General Hospital Enugu-Ukwu.
Others visited were St Charles Boromeo Hospital Onitsha , Rush Gran Hospital Onitsha, General Hospital Onitsha. There are other registered groups in almost all the Primary Health Centers in Anambra state like Okpuno, Nibo , Umuokpu to mention but a few.