By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
Ondo State House of Assembly has emphasized the need for collaborative efforts towards sensitising and creating awareness to fight the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the State headlong.
It stressed the need for people to be cautious, responsible and make themselves available for test from time to time to know their status for early treatment.
The House Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Intergovernmental Affairs, and Multilateral Relations led by its Chairman, Tiamiyu Atere stated these during a familiarisation visit to the Ondo State Agency for the Control of Aids (ODSACA) and the Political and Economic Affairs Department.
According to him, the visit became imperative to familiarize with the management of the agency and department to ensure symbiotic relationship for the development of the State.
The Committee appreciated both offices for delivering on their mandates, charging them to do more in achieving the set goals.
Earlier, the Project Manager of ODSACA, Dr Dayo Adegbulu who reeled out the activities, achievements and challenges of the Agency, informed that 28, 880 people were on treatment free of charge currently with 36 comprehensive centres for anti retroviral therapy.
While saying that the Agency was borne out of HIV epidemic, he noted that the vision is to have an HIV free society, while the global community has made great progress in responding to it through sound leadership.
Adegbulu informed that majority of the people in the State are HIV negative with 1.1 percent infected, higher in females than males particularly young girls and adults.
He pointed out that 95-95-95: percent target is to ensure 95 percent of all people living with HIV know their status, 95 percent of people diagnosed with the infection to receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 95 percent of people receiving drugs to have viral suspension by 2030.
According to him, the key things are prevention, vigorous sensitisation with much focus on sex workers,HIV testing service, prevention of mother to child transmission,care and support to the infected among others.
He sought for the support of the Lawmakers in accessing fund for effective service delivery.
Also at the Department, the Acting Permanent Secretary, Samuel Omooba while briefing the committee explained that the department is directly under the secretary to the State government, serving as secretariat for political-inclined committees, representing government in some key areas, documentation of political appointees,and organising retreat for them.
Other function he noted are to coordinate palliative measures , implementation of capital and recurrent budget, preparation of civil servants and political office holders salaries among others.