NAIIS: How Katsina, oth­ers fared in world’s largest HIV pop­u­la­tion based sur­vey

Sunday Trust - - NEWS HEALTH - By Ojoma Akor

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment in June this year launched a sur­vey tagged ‘Nige­ria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Im­pact Sur­vey (NAIIS)’ to en­able it de­velop strate­gies to­wards erad­i­ca­tion of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C.

The sur­vey ex­am­ines the dis­tri­bu­tion of HIV and hepatitis B and C dis­ease in the coun­try and the cov­er­age and im­pact of HIV ser­vices and HIV re­lated risk be­hav­iours.

The na­tion­wide sur­vey which is con­sid­ered the largest pop­u­la­tion­based HIV and hepatitis sur­vey in the world is presently on­go­ing in states in the North- West geopo­lit­i­cal zone and other parts of the coun­try.

About 170,000 Nige­ri­ans will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the sur­vey with fund­ing pro­vided by the United States Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and pre­ven­tion (CDC) and the Global Fund to fight HIV, TB and Malaria.

Ac­cord­ing to the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Na­tional Agency for the Con­trol of AIDS (NACA) Dr Sani Aliyu, the sur­vey would help the coun­try de­ter­mine the num­ber and lo­ca­tion of peo­ple liv­ing with HIV in the coun­try with a bet­ter de­gree of pre­ci­sion in or­der to pri­or­i­tize re­sources to where they are needed most, among other ben­e­fits.

Dr Aliyu said the sur­vey which is also the 12th of its kind in the world com­menced mid-June and will end De­cem­ber this year. The re­sults are ex­pected early next year.

The sur­vey in­volves con­duct­ing in­ter­views and blood tests on vol­un­tary par­tic­i­pants who qualify to take part, in ran­domly se­lected house­holds across Nige­ria.

Last Wed­nes­day, the sur­vey com­menced in Katsina State. In the North-West geopo­lit­i­cal zone , the sur­vey was first con­ducted in Kano, said Dr Ud­uak Essen of the NACA /NAIIS Pro­ject Im­ple­men­ta­tion Team (PIT) cov­er­ing the North West. She said it was then con­ducted in Kaduna, Ji­gawa, Sokoto and Kebbi States, adding that the next state af­ter Katsina State would be Za­ma­fara State.

She said: “We are happy with the level of ac­cep­tance of the sur­vey and par­tic­i­pa­tion by the peo­ple of Katsina State. There have been a lot of ad­vo­cacy and com­mu­nity mo­bi­liza­tion. Katsina State also had the high­est stake­hold­ers en­try meet­ing of the sur­vey in the North­west, that also trans­lates to the level of the peo­ple’s aware­ness and ac­cep­tance of the sur­vey,” she added.

Dr Essen said the Emir of Katsina, Dr Ab­dul­mu­mini Kabir Us­man and other stake­hold­ers in the state pro­vided the needed sup­port and mo­bi­liza­tion lead­ing to full co­op­er­a­tion be­tween NAIIS team, the stake­hold­ers and pop­u­lace.

North West Co­or­di­na­tor of the sur­vey, Mon­day Yanet told Daily Trust Sun­day that there have been over­whelm­ing sup­port for the sur­vey in the zone , and that it has been go­ing on suc­cess­fully even though there are pock­ets of chal­lenges.

Di­rec­tor gen­eral of NACA Dr Sani Aliyu had vis­ited Katsina State last week be­fore the com­mence­ment of the sur­vey in the state to so­licit for sup­port from the state gov­ern­ment, tra­di­tional lead­ers, Katsina State Agency for Con­trol of AIDS (KATSACA) and other stake­hold­ers . He also called for strength­ened HIV/AIDS ser­vices in the state.

Katsina State has a to­tal of 44,946 peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS as at De­cem­ber 2017 with 13,854 per­sons on treat­ment as at De­cem­ber 2017.

Speak­ing when he led a del­e­ga­tion on a visit to the state gover­nor, Aminu Bello Masari, Dr Aliyu said that the Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil (NEC) meet­ing of Jan­uary 18th 2018 passed a res­o­lu­tion for “the ear­mark­ing of at least 0.5 to 1% of the monthly fed­er­a­tion al­lo­ca­tion to states for fi­nanc­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the HIV/AIDS Sus­tain­abil­ity pro­grammes.”

While com­mend­ing the gover­nor for his ef­forts in tack­ling the dis­ease, he called on the state to in­crease bud­getary pro­vi­sion for HIV/AIDS in line with the rec­om­men­da­tion.

Dr Aliyu also called for the in­clu­sion of HIV/AIDS in the state health in­sur­ance scheme say­ing it should not just be for test­ing alone but also for treat­ment.

Katsina State gover­nor, Aminu Bello Masari as­sured the NACA boss that the state would con­tinue to mo­bi­lize re­sources to tackle HIV/ AIDS , and also give all nec­es­sary sup­port to en­sure the suc­cess of the NAIIS sur­vey.

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Kastina State Agency for the Con­trol of AIDS (KATSACA) Dr Ibrahim Buhari and the di­rec­tors of the agency also promised to pro­vide needed sup­port for the con­duct of the sur­vey while the co­or­di­na­tor of the Net­work of Peo­ple Liv­ing with HIV/AIDS in Nige­ria (NEPWHAN) in the state, Shehu Suleiman said drugs , chem­istry and he­ma­tol­ogy tests were free and called for more vi­ral load ma­chines.

Also speak­ing when the NACA boss vis­ited him in his palace , Emir of Katsina, Dr Ab­dul­mu­mini Kabir Us­man said there was need for in­creased sen­si­ti­za­tion of the peo­ple about HIV/AIDS , adding that mo­bi­liza­tion for en­light­en­ment was vi­tal as ig­no­rance con­tin­ues to be a prob­lem.

Med­i­cal Di­rec­tor of the Fed­eral Med­i­cal Cen­tre, Katsina , Dr Suleiman Muham­mad said donor fund­ing for HIV has con­tin­ued to dwin­dle and was af­fect­ing some sec­tions of Pre­ven­tion of Mother to Child Trans­mis­sion of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT) ser­vices.

Launch­ing NAIIS in Abuja in June, Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari said the sur­vey is in line with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s de­ter­mi­na­tion of en­sur­ing long term sus­tain­able so­lu­tions to health and devel­op­ment chal­lenges.

Min­is­ter of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the need for a more sci­en­tific ap­proach in as­sess­ing the na­tional spread and pat­tern of the dis­ease led to the sur­vey.

Stand­ing from left: Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Na­tional Agency for the Con­trol of AIDS (NACA) Dr Sani Aliyu, Emir of Katsina, Dr Ab­dul­mu­mini Kabir Us­man, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor KATSACA Dr Ibrahim Buhari , Di­rec­tor Re­source Mo­bi­liza­tion NACA, Dr Josephine Kalu and Head Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, NACA , Mrs Toyin Aderibigbe dur­ing the DG NACA’s ad­vo­cacy visit to Katsina State.

From left: Emir of Katsina, Dr Ab­dul­mu­mini Kabir Us­man, and the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Na­tional Agency for the Con­trol of AIDS (NACA) Dr Sani Aliyu when the later vis­ited him in his palace to so­licit sup­port for NAIIS and HIV re­sponse in Katsina State re­cently.

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