The United States government raises concern over user fees charged by healthcare facilities for people living positively with HIV, which according to them poses difficulty in accessing treatment.
The U.S embassy deputy chief of mission, Kathleen Fitzgibbon, expressed this concern in Asaba, the Delta State capital, South-South Nigeria.
It was the official launch of the Delta State antiretroviral therapy surge response at the government house Asaba where the diplomat urged Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to ensure the immediate elimination of the user fees. She stressed the need for a rapid and sustained effort to identify and put persons living positively with HIV on life saving art.
The 2018 report of Nigeria AIDS indicator and impact survey show a national prevalence of 1.4% with Rivers, Benue and Akwa Ibom States being at the top of the seven states with the highest prevalence rate.
Delta is one of the 7 states that account for 50% of the estimated number of people living positively with HIV.
Fitzgibbon pledged U.S government’s support to the people of Delta State in the identification and provision of treatment to approximately 63, 000 people living with HIV in addition to 17, 500 people already receiving treatment through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR programme in the state.
Governor Okowa said his administration is committing the sum of N100 million to the fight against the scourge especially in the riverine communities of the state.
He called on stakeholders, including friends of the state to join hands in making Delta HIV free and to provide succour to those already living with the virus,