The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) on Wednesday donated four ambulances to Jigawa Government to assist in strengthening its healthcare system.
The Director General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu, who presented the vehicles to Gov. Muhammad Badaru in Dutse commended him for his efforts toward controlling the spread of HIV in the state.
He noted that “Jigawa is one of the states with low HIV prevalence rate in the country.”
According to him, the state is also one of first states to institute premarital testing for HIV, by making sure that intending couples got tested before getting married.
He added that “this is what we are advocating nationwide; that people should come forward and demand for HIV services. The day people start demanding for HIV services, will be the end of HIV and AIDS.
“We are here to appreciate the Jigawa Government and look at what we have done together and at the same time present these ambulances to help strengthen the health system, coming directly from the Global Fund in Geneva.”
According to Aliyu, there are about two million people living with HIV across the country.
He, however, said that the agency had identified about 1.8 million of such people and placed them on treatment.
“We’re now trying to identify other people who are living with the virus to make sure that they demand and access HIV services.”
This, he noted, was to enable the agency to identify all carriers and place them on treatment.
“Once the agency is able to identify and place carriers on treatment, the prevalence will be
controlled, the same way polio was controlled.”
In his response, Badaru commended the agency for its contributions to the improvement of the health sector in the state.
He explained that with the provision of the ambulances to the state government, it would now use the fund it earmarked for the purchase of such vehicles to other projects.
He said “the donation of these brand new full equipped ambulances will enable Jigawa Government to use fund earmarked for same purpose to other social services for the benefit of the people.”
Badaru said that his administration keyed into the best practice and the policy of one functional primary healthcare centre (PHC) per ward to ensure that people had access to quality healthcare services.
“And that is why as of today, we have 279 functional PHCs at ward level. We are also upgrading 13 PHCs to secondary facilities.
“We are hoping that before the end of the year, we will achieve the 30 secondary facilities that we planned to have in our 30 constituencies,” the governor said.