LSACA embarks on massive community HIV-testing outreach

The Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), has commenced the scale-up of the massive community free HIV Testing Services (HTS) outreach in 20 Local Government Areas across the five divisions of the State, in order to stall the spread of HIV and AIDS amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
L-R: The AIDS Action Manager (AAM) /Health Educator of Ajeromi Local Government, Mr. Sulaimon Rasak Adegboyega, the Medical Officer of Health(MOH), Dr.Ahmad Amina, the Chief Executive of the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency( LSACA), Dr. (Mrs.) Monsurat Adeleke and the representative of the Iya- Oloja General, Mrs Adedayo Ideraoluwa , at the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency, Massive Community HIV Testing Services (HTS) outreach in Badary Division at the Folashade Tinubu -Ojo Market, Alaba-Oro phase 1 in Ajeromi – Ifelodun Local Government Area of the State.

The Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), has commenced the scale-up of the massive community free HIV Testing Services (HTS) outreach in 20 Local Government Areas across the five divisions of the State, in order to stall the spread of HIV and AIDS amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

In one of the outreach programmes held at the Folashade Tinubu-Ojo Modern Market, Alaba-Oro Phase One, in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government, the Chief Executive Officer of LSACA, Dr. Monsurat Adeleke, stated that Ajeromi LGA has the fifth highest HIV prevalence by LGA in the State, according to the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS 2018) report.

Dr. Adeleke noted that in line with global trends, the Agency is working towards achieving HIV epidemic control by the year 2025, which is expected to lead to the eradication of new HIV infections by the year 2030, through the Joint United Nation Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) revised 95-95-95 initiative.

The outreach, she said, was targeted at the youth who constitute about 43% of the State’s population, and members of the market community in the Badagry division of the State.

She revealed that residents in Lagos can access free HIV-testing service from any of the 288 facilities across the State in order to know their status towards achieving the first 95% of the revised 95-95-95 initiative, stressing that the main goal of the campaign was to strengthen the HIV/AIDS prevention interventions and care for those that tested positive.

Commenting on the free HIV Testing Services (HTS) outreach, the Medical Officer of Healthcare for Ajeromi, Dr. Ahmad Amina, enjoined the youth to take advantage of the free HTS to know their HIV status as the disease is no longer a death sentence.

In the same vein, the representative of the Iya-Oloja, the Public Affairs Officer of the Alaba-Oro market, Mrs. Adedayo Ideraoluwa, appreciated the Government for the kind gesture and urged the youth, market women and men to take advantage of the free HIV Testing Services and the Information, Communication and Education materials as well as condoms distributed at the outreach for HIV prevention.

Mr. Babatunde Kassim, speaking on behalf of youths in the area, appreciated the State for the free HTS, imploring all youngsters in the community to come out en-masse to take up the free HIV Testing Services.

He also promised to encourage and mobilise more youths to increase participation in the free HIV testing and uptake of consumables.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.