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Obasanjo undergoes HIV test

Posted by By ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja on 2006/12/04 | Views: 1240 |

Obasanjo undergoes HIV test


The popular saying that leaders should lead by example played itself out Friday as President Olusegun Obasanjo publicly submitted himself for HIV/ AIDS screening at the eagle square in Abuja.

The popular saying that leaders should lead by example played itself out Friday as President Olusegun Obasanjo publicly submitted himself for HIV/ AIDS screening at the eagle square in Abuja.

Curiously, the result of the test was not made public. But he was counseled, even as he said he was determined to keep to his promise of fighting the spread of the dreaded disease, adding that Nigeria was the first African country to provide anti-retroviral therapy in the public sector.

The occasion was the launch of the national counseling and testing campaign to mark the 2006 World AIDS Day in Nigeria.
“In 2001 we pledged to this, we committed to provide subsidized treatment for 10,000 adults and 5,000 children and today we have surpassed these numbers and I am reliably informed that we are currently treating about 100,000 patients in over one hundred sites across the nation.

“In Nigeria we have recorded modest successes which have been encouraging, we have observed that the majority of Nigerians have now come to accept the reality of AIDS which is a great departure from what was obtainable about six years ago when we adopted the multicultural paradigm for our national response.”

Obasanjo who was dressed in sporting wears also noted that “at the end of 2005 the national average prevalence was 4.4 per cent, which marks a reduction of 1.4 per cent from the first figure this administration met when it took office,” adding that it was a step in the right direction. He also remarked that Nigerians could certainly do more following the countries dictum, which should be zero-tolerance.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Professor Eyitayo Lambo, has cautioned that the decline in HIV prevalence does not call for celebration yet.

According to him, the HIV prevalence in Nigeria had consistently increased from 1.8 per cent in 1991 to 5.8 per cent in 2001; five per cent in 2003 until it declined to 4.4 per cent in 2005.
This year’s theme: “Stop AIDS - keep the promise”, Lambo said, is a reminder for all to be part of the nation’s effort to stem the tide of the epidemic through behavioural change and other interventions that are imperative in the whole national objectives of prevention and control.

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.