By: Sunny Ijomah
The Project Facilitator for National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) Dr. Rock Amegor has ranked Anambra State 26th out of 36th States in level prevalence of Human Immune Deficiency Virus, HIV in Nigeria.
He made the disclosure in his speech in Anambra State, South-East, Nigeria yesterday during the flag-off of 3 days Free Community Medical Outreach sponsored by Honourable Chukwuka Wilfred Onyema, member representing Ogbaru Federal Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives.
According to Dr. Amegor, the essence of the outreach was to reduce HIV scourge in the state to the barest minimum, adding that a team of medical personnel have been put in place to provide HIV counseling and testing for members of Ogbaru Federal Constituency.
He also informed that the outreach will be sustainable as the medical team would be carrying out routine health assessment visits to the communities after the outreach.
The centers include Saint Charles Lwanga Catholic Church, Okpoko; Comprehensive Health Centre Atani and General Hospital, Ossomala where the medical outreach are happening simultaneously.
In his remark during the flag off, Honourable Wilfred Onyema observed that people in rural areas do not go for proper medical checkups and therefore break down with various health problems which are usually wrongly diagnosed.
This, he said, is the reason for the high mortality rate in the country, explaining that the outreach is one of the ways he seeks to help the people cultivate the habit of going for proper medical care.
“His words, besides the HIV counseling and tests, there are kits for testing for hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure, various drugs and spectacles to be distributed free to the people.
“The medical team also gives educational tips on the use of certain chemicals to purify their water.
Honourable Wilfred Onyema who is also the Deputy Minority Leader, frowned at the way the people drink water from nearby River Niger were dead bodies are deposited and other pollutants and exposing themselves to various water borne diseases.
He stressed that what the medical team would achieve is to get a statistic of what disease is most prevalent in Ogbaru Federal constituency and ascertain if there is an impending epidemic and to know what steps to take to salvage the situation.
Commenting, Honourable Binta Bello, representing Kaltungo and Shongom Federal Constituency of Gombe State and the Deputy Minority Whip of the Federal House of Representatives, who is part of Honourable Onyema’s entourage said she came to see what his colleague was doing in his constituency and learn from it so as to replicate same in her constituency.
Honourable Sabo Garba representing Nangere and Potiskum Federal Constituency of Yobe State said he come to support his leader in the parliament and to learn from him.
While the Deputy Director of NACA, Dr. James Anenih assured that the Agency will providing technical support in the medical outreach, saying NACA is taking advantage of the outreach to conduct voluntary counseling and testing of the people of Ogbaru federal constituency.
He encouraged the people to come out and test for their HIV status, pointing out that knowing their status would be of benefit to them and the people around them.
However, our correspondent reports that over 10,000 members of Ogbaru community came out to take part in the community medical outreach programme which was being implemented by Olive Community Development Initiative and NACA with physiotherapists, ophthalmologists, doctors, laboratory technicians attending to the people.