Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has declared his commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
He called for a stronger collaboration among all stakeholders so as to meet the 2030 target of eradicating it, especially with Nigeria's record of the second largest country of HIV prevalence in the world.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, said: “The progress made so far in ending this epidemic would not have been possible without dynamic advocacy, solidarity and a spirit of shared responsibility, which must be maintained.”
Also, he commended the recent report of the national and sub-national incidence rates, which indicate a reduction in the prevalence of the disease. This is a testament to the efforts of all stakeholders involved in the war against the pandemic.
However, Sanwo-Olu emphasized that there is an urgent need for stakeholders to review strategies and deepen partnerships in the area of advocacy and expanding access to care, treatment and support for those living with the virus. He warned that complacency should not be allowed to set in, as there is still a long journey ahead in order to win the battle and free the country of the virus.
The Director-General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu, in his address, said that the new zonal office will oversee the coordination of NACA’s activities in the South-West and provide effective oversight of the agency’s activities in the cluster of states within the zone for an appropriate report to the head office in Abuja.
Dr Aliyu noted that NACA’s focus is to ensure that HIV is 90 per cent under control. More so, Nigeria’s performance in stemming the tide of HIV in the last 15 years, has notably resulted in the reduction of the prevalence of the disease.
He added that the decision to locate the South-West office of NACA in Lagos must have been in recognition of the commitment and dedication of the state government in eradicating the virus through the activities of the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA).