Anambra has over 98,000 HIV/AIDS patients – Commissioner

The Anambra State Aids Control Agency and the state Ministry of Health have disclosed that no fewer than 98,960 persons are living with HIV/AIDS in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, gave the figure in Awka, on Thursday, during a media briefing ahead of the 2023 World AIDS Day observed every December 1, since 1988.

Obidike said the state was making the needed progress towards the attainment of the Global 95-95-95 targets after it ranked fifth highest in the country.

He said, “With the national prevalence of 1.4 per cent, our state HIV prevalence is ranked fifth highest in the country and the highest in the South-East.

“It is estimated that 98,960 residents are living with HIV out of which 58 per cent know their status and 44,808  are currently on treatment.

“The state is making the needed progress towards attainment of the Global 95-95-95 targets of which we are at 65:81:93.

“And worthy of note is the gradual decline in new infections, which is at 46 per cent between 2021 and 2023 and AIDS-related death, which is at 32 per cent  between 2021 and 2023.

“We are scaling up Prevention of Mother-to-child Transmission services to ensure that no woman transmits this infection to her baby. The good news is that with the advent of Anti Retro-viral Therapy, HIV is no longer a death sentence.”

According to the commissioner, the state was also scaling up access to HIV self-testing to tackle stigma and discrimination.

Also speaking, the Director of Public Health, Dr Afam Anaeme, described HIV/AIDS as one of the diseases of public health importance.

Anaeme said, “With the participation of everyone, we can reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Anambra.”

In his remarks, the Executive Director of ANSACA, Mr Johnbosco Ementa, urged residents to take advantage of the free testing centres across the state to know their status.

He said that the state government increased the number of HIV treatment sites from 104 to 1,182, with the collaboration of implementing partners.

“We also deployed mobile testing units, home-based testing, and community outreaches, to significantly improve HIV testing coverage and accessibility.

“We appreciate our partners,  Achieving Health Nigeria Initiative,  AIDS Health-care Foundation, UNAIDS, CHAI and Global Fund, for their support,” Ementa added.

(Punch)

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600 Anambra pupils get Chinese firm’s scholarship

No fewer than 600 students of Igwebuike Grammar School, Awka, Anambra State, have been offered scholarships by Chinese engineering firm, Mo Zhotian Construction Company.

According to the firm’s Managing Director, Tu Makuan, the scholarship, which is for students between SS1 and SS3, would run for an academic session.

Makuan added that the gesture was part of the firm’s corporate social responsibility, in line with Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s free education policy.

He said, “We are here to announce the sponsorship of school fees for students from SS1 to SS3 for one academic year. If we get more jobs, we will do more for you. This is part of our corporate social responsibility.

“We are the company constructing Solution Fun City. Whenever I am driving to our construction site close to your school, I am always attracted to your school.”

The state commissioner for education, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh, said the gesture followed the commitment of both teachers and students at the school.

Chuma-Udeh thanked the firm for its generosity, urging others to emulate such a gesture.

“I have passion for the school because of your dedication to your studies. I have seen several students on the road during school hours, but I have not seen any of your students. The spirit of academics you exhibit has paid off.

“If you are good at what you do, whether students or teachers, nature will always reward you. Someone else saw what I saw in you and decided to extend an arm of philanthropy to you,” she added.

The Senior Prefect of the school, Chinedu Anago, who responded on behalf of the pupils, appreciated the firm for the gesture, pledging improved commitment to their studies to justify the scholarships.

(Punch)

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Anambra woman sells three-month-old grandson for N50,000

A grandmother identified as Oluchukwu Nwosu from Nkwelle, the Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State, is in police custody in the state for allegedly selling a newborn for N50, 000.

PUNCH Metro gatheredthat the baby was delivered out of wedlock by the suspect’s daughter identified as Ijeoma.

The security operatives of the state Ministry of Women and Social Welfare, together with men of the state police command, apprehended the culprit and the perpetrators in the crime, after the mother of the baby alerted the ministry.

This was disclosed in a press statement on Sunday by Chidinma Ikeanyionwu, the media aide to the state Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo.

The statement read, “The Ministry of Women and Social Welfare in Anambra State has rescued a three-month-old baby who had been sold by the grandmother.

“The rescue occurred in response to a report by Ijeoma Nwosu, who claimed that Oluchukwu Nwosu, her mother, forcefully sold her baby soon after he was born and has since refused to tell her where he is.

“Following receipt of the allegation, the Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, immediately took action, in collaboration with security operatives, to identify and apprehend the perpetrators.

“After almost a month of consistent intelligence and surveillance by the ministry and security operatives, the offenders were caught.”

The statement quoted Ijeoma as saying that her mother sold the three-month-old baby for N50,000, claiming that it was due to their low income and lack of care and challenges of feeding the baby.

“During interrogations, the culprit confessed how she came across a buyer who after days of negotiations, finally paid her the agreed sum.

“But the buyer of the baby, one Madam Evelyn, a native of Uruagu Nnewi, when arrested, said she paid N200,000 to the person who obtained the baby for her,” the statement added.

All the suspects were said to have been handed over to the police for further investigation and prosecution.

(Punch)

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I’m working hard to address insecurity in Anambra, says Soludo

Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State said on Sunday that he’s working hard to address the insecurity situation in the state.

He spoke at a special church service as part of activities to mark this year’s Independence anniversary celebration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Awka.

The governor said his administration was committed to ensuring security in the state.

According to him, the state government has deployed security personnel to strategic locations across the state, adding that greater efforts are being made to improve intelligence gathering and sharing.

“My government is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all. We are working hard to address the security challenges in the state, and we are confident that we will overcome them soon,” he said.

The governor also cautioned Nigerians to be wary of purveyors of fake news.

Soludo said some people have been taking advantage of the current security situation in Nigeria to spread fake news and misinformation.

(Daily Post)

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Pastor commits suicide after lover jilted him in Anambra

A pastor of a Pentecostal Church (name withheld) in Nnewi, Anambra State, identified as Pastor Prosper Igboke, has committed suicide after he jumped down from a two-storey building in Nnewi.

Sources in the area said Igboke jumped down from the two-storey building and died instantly after he was jilted by his lover, whom he had spent so much on.

A relative of the deceased who spoke to journalists on Saturday, said the 30-year-old man from Leru community in Umunneochi Local Government Area, Abia State, had trained his lover in the university, after which she declined his marriage proposal.

He said, “The incident happened last month. The man (Igboke) was 30 years old at the time of his death. His girlfriend, whom he intended to marry disappointed him after seeing her through the university.

“He jumped down from a two-storey building and died. I am surprised that a man of this age and a pastor can do this.”

According to their village tradition, the relative said he was buried in a forest for committing “sacrilege”.

“He was eventually buried on Friday in a bush in his community,” the source added.

However, when contacted, the state police spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said the incident was not brought before the police command.

“There is no information like that before me, and I want to also thank you for the privileged information. I will escalate this to the police manager within the area for necessary action, please,” Ikenga added.

(Punch)

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