HIV/AIDS: Rivers identifies orphans, vulnerable children for assistance

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THE Rivers State government on Monday said it was conducting an ‘’organised survey’’ to identify orphans and vulnerable children in the state to enable it provide them with necessary assistance.

Dr Chimazie Okeh, the Executive Director, Rivers State Agency for Control of AIDS (SACA), said this in Port Harcourt in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He said “we are conducting organised survey to enable us to identify the number of orphans and vulnerable children to enable us to provide them with services.

“For those living with the virus, we are giving them training on positive living and how to live positive.

“We are engaged in what is known as demand creation to improve ante-natal attendance and living in the positive; all these are important in addressing AIDS problems in River,’’ Okeh said.

According to him, the agency has mapped out some situations that the virus can be transmitted and have developed a comprehensive database of all the problems.

The executive director said that the data base would enable SACA to provide the necessary services to commercial sex workers in the state.

He added that the services would enable the sex workers to protect themselves and their clients, and control the spread of the scourge.

Okek said that AIDS treatment centres in Rivers had increased from eight in 2013 to 16 in 2014, while testing facilities increased to 300.

He said that HIV/AIDS management involved prevention, treatment, care and support for patients, lamenting that some Nigerians, especially rural dwellers still doubted the existence of AIDS.

“Attitude is one of the major challenges in the control of the epidemic. Resistance to attitudinal change is  another problem, so, people must learn to accept their status and come forward for treatment,” he added. (NAN)

Source: The Guardian 

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