USAID seeks more efforts in HIV/AIDS control

UNITED States Agency for International Development (USAID) is keen on more control of HIV/AIDS, especially in the rural communities, stressing that the fight against the disease has not been won.

Leading a delegation from the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) and Family Health International (FHI 360) on an advocacy visit to the Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday, the USAID Country Director, Dr. Susan Coleman, stated the need to step up control of the deadly scourge.

She disclosed that USAID had supported over 600,000 people in Nigeria, including in Rivers State, within 10 years of its existence in the country. She disclosed that $2 million is budgeted for Rivers this year alone, noting that the agency has spent about $30 million in the state in its orphaned, vulnerable children programme within the period.

Responding, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, said the state government would ensure the success of the USAID programmes, as it is passionate about the welfare of vulnerable and orphaned children in the state and would do all it could to take them off the streets.

“The important thing is not just that the programme will be successful but we will ensure its sustenance for the sake of the vulnerable children,” Banigo said.

However, he stressed the need for proper monitoring of the programme, which should include stakeholders like the chairman, Local Government Service Commission, and those at the grassroots, to achieve set objectives.



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