NOA,NACA partner to stop spread of HIV, AIDS

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The National Orientation Agency (NOA) says it will partner with National Agency for Control of Aids (NACA) to strategise and stop the scourge of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) at the grassroots.

Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General of NOA made this known when the Director-General of NACA, Dr Sani Aliyu paid him a courtesy call at NOA Headquarters on Thursday in Abuja.

Abari said the time had come for the campaign against HIV and Aids to take root at the grassroots level where the scourge was prevalent.

According to Abari, the high rate of spread of the disease has become worrisome despite effort of government and international community at curbing the spread in the last 10 years.

“If information does not get to the lower community level of the society, we will continue to have this high incidence in our communities.”

He said the NOA would transcend the traditional channels of medical advocacy through mass media to face to face interaction and other communication platforms which the agency usually deployed to achieve its communication tasks.

He outlined the structure of the agency at the lower community levels that had helped in different collaborations with other agencies.

“With the Community Orientation and Mobilization Officers at the grassroots level, the agency speaks different local languages across the breadth and width of country with credible and reliable source of information,” Abari said.

Earlier, the D-G of NACA,  said that the essence of the visit was to seek ways of benefitting from NOA’s platforms for propagating government programmes and policies, especially to mobilise grassroots support for the campaign against HIV and AIDS.

Aliyu said his priorities include increasing government funding for HIV and AIDS projects in view of the dwindling patronage from foreign donors.

“The foreign donors had borne more than 80 per cent of huge cost of efforts to curb the scourge and to reduce mother-to-child transmission rate to the minimum.

He said that only 10 out of the 36 states of the country were contributing their counterpart funding.

Aliyu added that states with the highest prevalence rate of HIV had not contributed a dime to the fund in the last two years. (NAN)