Posted by By Sina Babasola on
IBADAN-TWO aides of the wife of the Oyo State Governor, Alhaja Olayinka Ladoja, have died from complications arising from HIV/AIDS.
IBADAN-TWO aides of the wife of the Oyo State Governor, Alhaja Olayinka Ladoja, have died from complications arising from HIV/AIDS. Consequently, Alhaja Ladoja yesterday announced a compulsory HIV/AIDS screening test for all categories of staff in her office. The two dead employees were a driver and a gardener.
Mrs. Ladoja at a public lecture in Ibadan said a screening machine had been ordered to enable her office carry out the compulsory test on all categories of staff in her office.
The wife of the governor who was special guest of honour at a public lecture entitled: "Anti-retroviral therapy in resource limited settings," admitted that there was a downward trend in the spread of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria and commended the University College Hospital (UCH) for playing a prominent role in this regard.
Mrs. Ladoja who visited some AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria clinic (APIN) facilities and Anti-retroviral Clinic in the Virology Laboratory where she distributed items and cash to people living with HIV/AIDS described the disease as a major threat to Nigeria's development. "It is saddening to note that HIV/AIDS scourge has become a national emergency. With a population of about 126 million, Nigeria is one of the largest inflicted countries in the world, fourth only to India, Ethiopia, and South Africa.
"Based on population estimates and the HIV prevalence rates, the size of the infected population in Nigeria was estimated to be 3.5 million by 2003 and by 2005 it is estimated that about five million Nigerians will be HIV positive if the current infection and transmission rates are sustained," Mrs Ladoja said.
In a keynote address, Prof. Oche Agbayi said Nigeria was one of the countries that would benefit from $15 billion grants in the fight against the spread of the disease.
The don, while calling for community mobilisation and creation of awareness, asked Nigerians to take full advantage of the Federal Government initiative aimed at preventing the spread of the disease in the country.
According to him, Nigeria as a country, commenced the Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) in 2002, using a combination of genetic forms from India to provide health care for people infected with the scourge and with availability of highly active anti-retroviral treatment, deaths have gone down in Nigeria.
In his opening remark, chairman of the occasion, Professor O. A. Oladipo, who described HIV/AIDS as "our own tsunami," said UCH was capable of providing clinical care for over 20000 people living with HIV/AIDS monthly.