Rivers State Tops the HIV/AIDS Prevalence Rate This Year with ?15.2 Percent from ?3.1 percent ---- Read More
The Federal Ministry of Health, Friday released the 2012 Naational HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey-Plus (NARHS Plus).
The survey indicated that Nigeria now has HIV prevalent rate of 3.4 percent.
Rivers State is however leading other states of the country with a prevalent rate of 15.2 percent.
NARHS is conducted to monitor the HIV/AIDS epidemic among the general populace in the country.
It also monitors other sexual and reproductive health indicators.
The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Sani Bala, at the national dissemination of the survey findings, said that the result of the survey was a reflection of the efforts of the Federal Government in the fight against HIV in the country.
According to the survey, “the HIV prevalent situation compared with 3.6 percent in 2007 about3.4 percent of Nigerians are currently living with HIV/AIDS with 3.2 percent in urban and 3.6 percent in the rural areas and 2.9 percent among young people aged 15-19 years.”
A cursory look at the survey showed that Taraba State ranked second with a prevalent rate of 10.5 percent, followed by Kaduna State with 9.2 percent.
Nasrawa State has 8.1 percent while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) 7.5 percent.
Ekiti State however has the least prevalent rate of 0.2, Zamfara 0.4 percent, Bauchi 0.6 percent and Ogun 0.6 percent.
Speaking to journalists, the Technical Assistant to the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nyemenim Michael, said: “We are here today to take a look at the figures that have been made available reflecting the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the whole country and also in the individual states.
“Rivers state has had a prevalent rate of 3.1 percent, but today we are seeing a prevalent rate of 15.2 percent.
“We are terribly worried and alarmed by these figures. This is because to the best of our knowledge, these figures do not reflect the true health position. Not from our hospital services, not from activities we have in our outreach programes.
“We were thinking that Rivers State should not have gone anywhere between 3.1 percent and 3.5 percent. As a matter of fact, we expect to come lower than that. This is because, over the years, Rivers State has been one of the states that have been very consistent with carrying out HIV programmes.
“As a matter of fact, when other states do not seem to have regular supply of drugs, Rivers State has it. The man power inbuilt into our health system has been so much recognised to the extent that it is impossible for us to see this kind of astronomical rise in the prevalent rate.
“We do not have any war in Rivers State, we do not have any influx and we do not have any epidemic and the health care system in Rivers State has not broken down for us to have these figures. So we are a little bit worried.
“We do not have any problem with Anti-Retroviral drugs and we do not lack facility.”
On whether the state will protest the result, he said: “We just want to make a point that these figures are just not right.”