Politics

46,732 HIV patients receiving treatment in Kano — Commissioner

Kano State Commissioner of Health, Dr Abubakar Labaran, has said no fewer than 46,732 people living with HIV are receiving treatment in the state.

The commissioner made this known while delivering a speech at a ceremony to commemorate this year’s World AIDS Day in Kano on Friday.

The event with theme: ‘Let Communities Lead’, was in collaboration with the USAID as well as other partners.

Mr Labaran explained that the government had conducted HIV tests on 138,430 people from January to date, adding that out of the number, 4,728 had been found to be positive.

According to him, this makes a total of 46,732 persons living with the disease and receiving treatment in the state.

Mr Labaran explained further that the state had improved its strategies to halt mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS by successfully conducting test for 95 percent of all pregnant women during their first ANC visit, adding that out of that figure, only 0.04 percent were found positive.

“We have tested a total of 138,430 people for HIV and found 4,728 positive and have successfully initiated new 4,140 HIV-infected persons on ART from January 2023 to date.

“Currently there are 46,732 persons living with the disease and receiving treatment in the state.

“We have improved our strategies to halt mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS by successfully conducting HIV testing for 95 percent of all pregnant women during their first ANC visit, out of which only 0.04 percent turned HIV positive,” the commissioner stated.

Mr Labaran further explained efforts by the state in managing the situation where he said, for the first time, the state had achieved HIV budget target of N2 billion, representing 3 percent of the total health budget in the proposed budget submitted to the Kano state Assembly.

The commissioner appreciated the support of partners like USAID, LHSS, NEPWHAN and KanSLAM for their advocacy engagements towards achieving in the KSACA’s budget.

On his part, the Director-General, Kano State Agency for the Control of AIDS, SACA, Dr Usman Bashir, said they had brought on board 600 persons living with AIDS to benefit from the free healthcare service package introduced by the state government.

“Most of the beneficiaries are children of those who died of HIV, as well as those children living with the disease,” he explained.

According to Mr Bashir, the agency is trying its best to carry the persons living with HIV along in its activities in order to make them feel sense of belonging.

He added that the HIV patients currently have two offices in the agency, adding that, “we are also supporting them in various ways to encourage them and support their wellbeing.

“This is in addition to fighting stigmatization against them. We try out best to fight stigmatization because it has a negative impact on their health,” he said.