Delta abandons AIDS patients

By Julius Oweh, Asaba

The number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Delta State is likely to rise and pose a major health challenge to the people unless the lack of financial support and indifference of the state government is stopped.

This was the lamentation of an NGO, Civil Society Organizations for HIV and AIDS in Nigeria (CISHAN) while addressing in the press in Asaba on Wednesday (March 16, 2016).

The coordinator of CISAN, Dr (Mrs) Eris Jewo Ibi bemoaned the plight of AIDS patients as the state government and World Bank and other donor agencies have withdrawn their funding to NGO geared towards the enlightenment of the dreaded disease.

The CISAN coordinator disclosed that her organization was running a zero budget and made passionate appeal to the state government and other donor bodies to have a rethink about the dreaded disease.

Ibi lamented thus on the non funding of AIDS/HIV programmes :`There is lack of political will and logistic support from Delta State government for coordination, care and support for the teaming number of positive persons living with AID/HIV in the state. There is also lack of access to retroviral treatment by majority of positive person and some of them are charged by health care providers and facilities for positive persons`.

She therefore maintained that her organization was determined more than ever before to bring the message of AIDS/HIV to all the nooks and crannies of the state.

She also said that the target of ending HIV/AIDS in the state by 2030 can only be achieved if the state government, well meaning and wealthy Deltans and the World Bank fund the various programmes in the state.

The CISAN co-ordinator also called on the various oil prospecting companies in the state to use the funds for social responsibility to the host communities in the areas of enlightenment and treatment of AIDS patients.

On the activities of CISAN, she said that advocacy in the media for intensive enlightenment campaigns on the dangers of AIDS, fund raising strategies, the monitoring of all NGOs that work in AIDS related field and the production of a monthly magazine.

Representatives of various groups working for the eradication of AIDS/HIV were present at the press conference.