July 12, 2007 :: Iman Iman,Gusau, ThisDay,Lagos
World Bank yesterday distributed N30million to 22 Non Governmental Organisations(NGOs), involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Zamfara State.
The money, given through the state Action Committee on AIDS (ZAMSACA), is the second disbursement in less than a year, following the N69million earlier disbursed in October 2007.
Speaking at the cheaque presentation ceremony in Gusau, yesterday, State Governor, Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi, said his administration accords priority attention to the disease, and as such, will do everything possible to curtail its spread.
He said plans are underway to establish five Anti Retro viral Treatment Centres in Gusau, Kaura Namoda, Shinkafi, Talata Mafara and Anka General Hospitals.
"As a matter of policy, the state government has made it mandatory for all its health institutions and private clinics to screen all blood and blood products for HIV/AIDS before transfusion. In addition, voluntary counseling and testing centres have been established in all our hospitals, so as to curtail the spread of the disease," he said.
While urging the beneficiaries of the grant to justify the confidence reposed in them by judiciously utilising the funds, Shinkafi implored couples to remain faithful to one another.
Earlier in his speech, ZAMSACA Project Manager, Dr Umar Maru, urged the state government to increase its funding to state AIDS committee, to enable it undertake activities that are not covered by the World Bank grant.
He said the committee has conducted series of capacity building workshops to local civil society organisations and youth leaders in all the 14 local government councils in the state, with a view to strenghten their capacity and knowledge of the disease.
Journalists Against AIDS Nigeria