How Taraba stopped HIV patients from dying of COVID-19 complications
Taraba State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Innocent Vakkai has revealed how the state prevented persons living with HIV/AIDS from dying of COVID-19 complications in the state.
He said unlike other parts of the country where many HIV positive persons were alleged to have died as a result of COVID-19 complication, the state did not record any such data.
Vakkai, stated this during World Aids Day celebration while reeling out the plans put in place to prevent such deaths.
He said “I am glad to mention that no HIV patient died as a result of COVID-19 complication in Taraba State. ”
Observing that the globe is currently faced with two pandemics (the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics), he said COVID-19, has caused and is still causing disruption of services including healthcare around the globe.”
Vakkai, however, said plans to ensure that the over 40,000 persons living with the disease in the state are on Antiretrovirals (ARVs) was implemented especially during COVID-19 lockdown.
He said a significant number of PLWHIV benefitted from the government implementing partners palliative support of COVID-19. ”
Aligning his weight to that of the Commissioner on how the state was able to reduce the prevalence of HIV from 10.5% to 2.9% and prevent patients from dying as a result of COVID-19 complication, the Director-General, Taraba State Aid Control Agency (TACA), Dr. Garba Danjuma, said the agency would continue to work round the clock to strengthen awareness, create demands for HIV testing, treatment, care and support services.
He said the state is the first to inaugurate the Resource Mobilization Technical Working Group (RMTWG) for HIV, the agency, in collaboration with the ministry of health, as well as partners.
He said the agency has got schools involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS via school debates through football competitions, talks on ending stigmatization and discrimination against persons living with the disease.