By Niyi Odebode:
The United Nations AIDS programme has said that Nigeria records at least 1,000 new HIV infections every day.
According to the news agency, UNAIDS said, “There is a growing demand for access to treatment and prevention services in Nigeria, which can only be met by strengthening the current partnership between global, national and local partners.”
Commenting on the figures, the Director-General of the National Agency for AIDS Control, Prof. John Idoko, said that there was no cause for alarm.
“New infections in the country are between 370,000 and 380,000 annually. If you divide the figures by 350 days, it will be within that range,” he said.
The Minister of Health Minister, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, commended UNAIDS for mobilising the participation of non-governmental organisations, faith-based entities and the private sector to support the national AIDS response.
“This has helped us gain momentum in rolling out access to services. “We still have challenges. We are aware that resources are limited, but we must meet the expectations of the people we have mobilised,”he said.
Meanwhile, ahead of the 2010 World Cup, South Africa on Thursday announced that the supply of condoms would be doubled between June and July.
According to Daily News, the country‘s figure of HIV/AIDS stood at 5.7 million, more than any other country in the world.
Medical authorities in South Africa said they want to make sure there was plenty around in time for the games, which will be held in June and July.
“There’s going to be a large number of people who will be descending onto the country,” said Victor Ramathesele, general medical officer for South Africa‘s 2010 organising committee.
“There’s going to be a spirit of festivity and there could be a more than usual demand for measures such as condoms. So there are measures in place to ensure that the condom supply is going to be ramped up during this tournament,” he added.
After years when the South African government failed to provide lifesaving HIV/AIDS drugs, the nation now has the world’s biggest anti-retroviral programme.
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