June 13, 2024

Bustan Daily

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Nigeria records 51,000 HIV/AIDS-related deaths, 48,000 new infections in six months

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The National Agency for the Control of AIDS says an
estimated 51 , 000 persons living with HIV / AIDS in
Nigeria died in the first two quarters of 2020 .
According to NACA , 1. 8 million people also currently
live with the infectious disease in Nigeria . exclusive interview with PUNCH HealthWise, NACA
Director – General , Dr . Gambo Aliyu , partly blamed the
high mortality on lack of access to treatment and the
disruption of medical services brought about by the
COVID- 19 pandemic .
He feared that the number of deaths among PLWHA
may worsen , if the disruption to HIV / AIDS treatment
persists for another six months .
“ For now , we can tentatively say as of June this year ,
an estimated number of 51 , 000 people had lost their
lives
“ We fear that it is due to lack of access to medication
and the disruption that COVID- 19 brought .
“ We are likely to experience more because a recent
work we did , a rigorous module , shows that treatment
disruption for another six months is likely to cause
double of mortality in Sub – Saharan Africa, ” he said .
On July 6 , a survey conducted by the World Health
Organisation showed 73 countries have been warned
that they were at risk of stock- outs of antiretroviral
medicines as a result of the COVID- 19 pandemic .
The United Nations agency had noted that 24 of those
countries were either already having a critically low
stock of ARVs or disruptions in the supply of the life –
saving medicines .
The survey followed a modelling exercise convened by
WHO and UNAIDS in May which forecasted that a six –
month disruption in access to ARVs could lead to a
doubling in AIDS – related deaths in sub – Saharan Africa
in 2020 alone.
predicted that an estimated new HIV infection in 2020 ,
which presently stands at 48 , 000 , could further
increase astronomically to 100 , 000 .
“ On estimated infection for 2020 , that is something we
expect to go around 100 , 000 . As of June this year , we
could tentatively say we have about 48 , 000 individuals
who are down with HIV infection for 2020 .
“ At the moment , we have about 1 . 1 m patients
accessing HIV treatment in facilities across the country
and we are looking to increase the number to about
1 . 5 m in the next three years , ” he stated .

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