Worried by the high prevalence rate of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) at the community level, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in collaboration with the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) is strategizing to stop the spread of the scourge in our local communities.
This partnership was created when the Director General of NACA, Dr. Sani Aliyu paid a working visit to the NOA Headquarters in Abuja where the Director General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari said the time has come for the campaign against HIV/Aids to take root at the grassroots level where the scourge reside.
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 ten years. “If information does not get to the lower community level of the society, we will continue to have this high incidence rate in our communities”.
He said the NOA will transcend the traditional channels of medical advocacy through mass media to face to face interaction and other communication platforms which the Agency usually deploys to achieve its communication tasks. He outlined the structure of the Agency at the lower community levels that has similarly 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” he added.
Earlier, the DG of NACA, Dr. Sani Aliyu said that the essence of the visit was to seek ways benefitting from NOA platforms for propagating government programmes and policies and especially to mobilize grassroots support for the campaign against HIV/AIDS.
The NACA DG said his priorities include increasing government funding for HIV/AIDS project in view of the dwindling patronage from foreign donors who had borne more than eighty percent of huge cost of efforts to curb the scourge and to reduce mother-to-child transmission rate to the minimum.
Aliyu said that only 10 of out of the 36 states of the country are contributing their counterpart funding adding that states with the highest prevalence rate of HIV have not contributed a dime to the fund in the last two years.