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