The Government of Cross River State is determined to fight and reduce the scourge of AIDS/HIV prevalent in the state by investing massively in health care facilities. To this end, the state has deliberately made its budgetary allocation to the health sector the highest in this year’s budget.
The State government also revealed that to ensure and create a healthy living in the state, every support will be given to eradicate HIV/AIDS or reduce its current prevalence rate from two to one percent or less.
Already, the health sector has been given the highest budgetary allocation aimed at ensuring speedy and proper health care while provisions have been made to build three referral hospitals in Akpabuyo, Etung, and Obudu Local Government Areas.
Gov Ben Ayade, who stated this on Sunday while flagging off this year’s World AIDS Day in the state, tagged “Communities make the difference,” disclosed that the state is not safe as the influx of Cameroon refugees continues to pose a serious threat to the fight against the scourge.
Mrs. Ayade Flagging off World’s AIDS Day
Represented by his chief of staff, Mr. Martins Orim, at the event, Ayade who also commissioned the Christmas Village at the Calabar Municipality after a road walk from the Rabana junction, revealed that arrangement has been concluded for the award of contract for the building of the referral hospitals.
While thanking the supporting agencies in the fight against HIV in the state, the governor pleaded that stigmatization should be replaced with sensitization, stating that being HIV positive is not the end of life.
According to him, antiretroviral therapy is available in most government facilities at no cost explaining that it was possible for an HIV positive person to live a healthy and fulfilling life with the right care and support from the family, the community even at places of worship.
He charged that the victims should be treated with dignity, love, respect, and support for them to take good care of themselves stating that it affects the community, state and nation if anybody is lost to HIV/AIDS.
While still emphasizing that those infected should not be discriminated against or stigmatized, Ayade maintained that there is an improvement in the fight against the scourge asking all hands to be on deck if the battle must be won in the state.
Highlights of the event included road walk by different organizations, groups, NGOs CRSACA as well as goodwill messages from partners as well as a drama sketch.