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400,000 Nigerians died of AIDS in 2004 — UN

Posted by Chiawo Nwankwo, Agaptus Anaele, Abuja on 2005/06/23 | Views: 300 |

400,000 Nigerians died of AIDS in 2004 — UN


The head of the United Nations HIV/AIDS team in Nigeria; Dr. Pierre Mpele, stated on Wednesday that 400,000 Nigerians died in 2004 of AIDS related diseases.

The head of the United Nations HIV/AIDS team in Nigeria; Dr. Pierre Mpele, stated on Wednesday that 400,000 Nigerians died in 2004 of AIDS related diseases.

He said this had resulted in rendering about 1.8million children orphans. He added that about four million people are presently living with the virus.

The UN health envoy spoke in Abuja, while delivering his goodwill message at the second Interfaith Forum on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.The forum with the theme : Faith community as agent in the fight against AIDS was organised by the National Action Committee on AIDS.

The forum, one of NACA's strategies in combating the spread of the virus, is aimed at exploring the use of Christian and Islamic religious bodies in the campaign against HIV/AIDS.

NACA chairman, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, said "prevention of the disease in young ones is a major challenge.

"Providing support and care in an atmosphere where there is no discrimination is very important. The greatest legacy we want to leave is giving dignity and respect to the affected."

The UN envoy said, "This dialogue is a sign of commitment of the Faith groups in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Let us together think and act individually and collectively, brainstorm and form new coalition between leaders and communities on HIV/AIDS.

"Religious leaders can play a key role in bringing the people to act together. In Nigeria, four million people are living with the disease. A total of 400,000 people died in Nigeria in 2004, leaving 1.8million orphans," he said.

President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr. Peter Akinola, represented by Bishop Joseph Akinfenwa, argued that religious groups were well placed to contribute positively in the crusade against the spread of the disease.

But he criticised the Non-Governmental Organisations campaigning against the spread of the scourge for spending 90 per cent of funds meant for the campaign on running their organisations.

"It is immoral for organisations to consume 90 per cent of funds meant for HIV/AIDS and spend only 10 per cent on the health campaign. This is why more funding should be given to Faith based organisations," he said.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Maccido who spoke similarly, called for a jihad against AIDS.

The Punch, Thursday June 23, 2005

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.