By Funke Busari
The wife of the Governor of Oyo State, Mrs Florence Ajimobi (JP) on Wednesday stated that HIV intervention in the state this year will be community based with more efforts coming from local government areas in the state.
She added that funding will be basically focused on areas of priority interventions.
Mrs Ajimobi made this statement at the opening of a two day forum of the Oyo state Agency for the Control of Aids (OSACA) and the Local Government Agency for the Control of Aids (LACA) in Ibadan, Oyo State, southwest Nigeria.
According to a statement signed by Mrs Ajimobi’s Special Assistant on Media, Yejide Gbenga-Ogundare, at risk populations will be given more attention this year.
“The bulk of our intervention this year will be at the community level and this is the more reason why our local government authorities must improve on their commitment to the HIV response by ensuring regular funding and implementation of HIV prevention activities at their respective local governments.
“Our HIV/AIDS funding this year will be based on area of priority interventions that have the potentials of reaching the most vulnerable and at-risk-populations earlier stated which would have a considerable impact on the status of the epidemic in the state.
“In other words, our planning and programming will be prioritised, well focused, evidence-based and result oriented. We must cut down on unnecessary expenditures that would not add value to the response and achieve value for money,” Mrs Ajimobi stated.
The First Lady added that there is need to strive to be efficient in the way and manner in which resources are utilised to ensure that quality HIV prevention and treatment services are delivered to our people at the lowest possible cost.
“The fact stares us at the face and we cannot shy away from the fact that there are high rates of new HIV infections among vulnerable and most-at-risk populations in the state. Most of our youths engage in pre-marital sex without adequate information on protection.
“Multiple sexual practice is still very rampant among our married men and women while majority of those who engage in such risky behaviours do not have adequate information on protection at their disposal neither do they access services as at when necessary.”
Mrs Ajimobi promised to do everything within her power as the Chairperson of Oyo SACA to ensure that the government’s allocation to HIV response this fiscal year is released.
However, she enjoined all stakeholders to ensure that they do all that is required to achieve the common goals, that is, Zero new HIV Infection in Oyo State.
She also appealed to Oyo SACA partners to continue to support and partner with the agency in a more transparent and open manner so that the state-identified priority areas of intervention shall be adequately covered and together, the common goals and objectives will be achieved.