By: Simon Ushie.
The Cross River State Government has marked the 2020 world AIDS day with a walk with a call on all citizens to present themselves for routine councelling,testing and Anti-retroviral use for those who are already infected to ensure that the state prevalence is less than that of national prevalence ratio Which is currently at 1.4%.
Flagging off the exercise in Calabar, the Cross River State Deputy Governor Professor Ivara Esu said the state Government is committed towards actualizing a drastical reduction in new infectious rate through the Development and adoption of policies which grant full access to Improved living and hault to new transmission.
Professor Esu who commended the State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade and other stakeholders in the health sector for the low prevalence rate in the state ,encouraged the team to build on the gains of recent successes and work towards improving on their indices through awareness creation and improved client’s services.
He said the state is poised towards ensuring that in less than no time there would be zero percent transmission of HIV/AIDs in Cross River State as the state has decentralized it’s response program through the setting up of Local Government and Community based response platform to meet the needs of Cross Riverians.
The State Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu encouraged everyone to get themselves tested as she noted that, the state in collaboration with partners have introduced an oral test kit to minimize piercing which is another method of HIV/AIDs transmission.
Speaking to newsmen after the completion of the 10 kilometers walk, the Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong urged Cross Riverians to ensure that they know their HIV/AIDs status
Dr Ekpenyong said, a HIV/AIDS generation is possible if all hands are put on deck as well as supports for victims are offered, She urged pregnant women to always visit primary health care Facilities for antenatal care services in order to know their status and prevent mother to child transmission.
On her part, the Director General of the Cross River State Agency for the control of AIDS, Dr Ansa Echeri admonished people to regularly present themselves for testing as she noted that HIV is not a death sentence but early detection can improve chances of a healthy lifestyle and building of resistance against other common diseases.
HIV/AIDs can be transmitted from persons to persons through unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing of sharp objects like needles, razors, injections among others with blood transfusion being listed among the possible ways of infection.
The event was witnessed by the speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Eteng Jones as well as the chairman of the house committee on health, Honourable Dr Ekpo Bassey with partners and other stakeholders in attendance.