BY ABDULLAHI ISAH, MAIDUGURI
No less than 512 new cases of HIV/AIDs have been recorded across Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Borno state, largely due to Boko Haram insurgents’ activities.
The Executive Secretary, Borno State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (BOSACA), Barkindo Saidu, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Maiduguri, said that the cases were recorded after voluntary screening in some of the IDPs camps in the state, stressing that two out of the 512 persons were children.
He said “We are currently conducting voluntary screening on HIV/AIDS in IDPs’ camps across the state to determine the status of the people, especially those rescued from the Boko Haram terrorists. As at last week, we have recorded 512 positive cases, among which two are children.”
According to him, officials had earlier said that no fewer than 5,000 IDPs, in 27 camps in the state are currently livings with the virus, adding that the state had witnessed rising cases of the disease largely due to the Boko Haram terrorism.
“Currently, 2.4 per cent of the population of the state is living with HIV/AIDS, which translates to 108,000 persons, going by the record of the National Population Commission. Only a tiny portion of these people can access treatment because most anti retroviral centers have closed,” Mr. Saidu said.
He explained that only 32 out of the 90 anti retroviral centres were still operational in the state, saying “Before the Boko Haram terrorism, we had 90 treatment centres across the state, but only 32 are still functional today. The rest have been closed down due to the Boko Haram terrorism”.
He called on the Federal Government and donor agencies to intervene in the area of HIV/AIDS control in the state.