Over 10,000 people tested positive to HIV out of about 50,000 people in Lagos in an exercise carried out by the State AIDS Control Agency in the last one year, National Mirror reports.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris announced the dreadful revelation during the ministerial press briefing of the Ministry of Health, held at Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.
“The State Aids Control Agency was able to carry out HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) for a total of 58, 792 clients in the health facilities and 10, 606, representing 18% of these patients were positive,” he said.
“The agency conducted the fourth phase of sensitisation of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) on Prevention of Mother of Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT), Universal Safety Precautions (USP) and Referral Linkage to PMTCT intervention.
“A total of 28, 736 pregnant women were counselled and tested during the outreaches. of these number, 340 were positive and referred for PMTCT services.”
Idris said a total of 2,957 HIV positive patients commenced antiretroviral treatment in the year under review, even as 1,066 HIV positive pregnant women and 745 HIV exposed babies were placed on ARV prophylaxis.
He added that the state essentially needed to enhance the efficiency of the health workforce as well as increase the scope and quality of service delivery in the health facilities.
Meanwhile, Dr Bilali Camara, UNAIDS Country Director, said on Wednesday that Nigeria would commence local production of anti-retroviral drugs in early 2016.
He said plans are at the conclusion stage between UNAIDS, ECOWAS and West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO) on the production date.
“We are trying to see how better we can finalise the process, we have between now and early next year to commence the production,’’ he said.
NAN recalls that four pharmaceutical companies have been certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the general manufacturing practices.
Camara said the medical store at Abidjan owned by ECOWAS, which was transferred to Ghana, had been stocked with anti-retroviral drugs produced by a Nigerian pharmaceutical company.
“When the medical store was razed down by fire at Ghana, the stock, which ECOWAS constituted, was locally produced by the Nigerian companies.
“Anti-retroviral drugs produced by Evans Pharmaceuticals, an indigenous Nigerian company, was used to replenish the store and keep people on treatment in Ghana and that process is still continuing in Ghana now,’’ he said.