Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
The HIV/AIDS Clinic at the Asokoro District Hospital has said that HIV/AIDS is the highest cause of death among patients in the entire hospital.
It, however, said the rate of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS had dropped significantly compared to previous years.
The Project Coordinator, Anti-Retroviral Therapy, Dr. Henry Onyegbutulem, and his Deputy, Dr Whera Sagay, said this when members of the board of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS visited the facility in Abuja on Tuesday.
The team said HIV care in the facility was strong, according to a statement by the NACA Spokesperson, Mrs. Toyin Aderibigbe.
Onyegbutulem, however, expressed concern over the low rate of drug adherence by patients, stressing that drug intake is very important.
He also informed the board that Asokoro is a flagship facility and the clinic is run daily.
While giving a rundown of activities at the facility, Onyegbutulem disclosed that the clinic serves Action Meal for malnourished patients.
He commended the Federal Government and donors for ensuring continuous availability of drugs and essential supplies to the facility and hoped the support will be sustained as patients increase.
On the rate of patients’ mortality, the team lead said there are “more deaths among HIV/ Tuberculosis co-infected patients but the rate was generally low compared to the previous period.”
As a strategy to infuse more hope to HIV/AIDS patients, the facility has strategically engaged some HIV positive staff while it initiates community outreaches to catchment areas like Nyanya, to build confidence among patients and swell up the uptake of more prospects to the facility.
Corroborating the facts the CMD, Dr.Uche Afiomah, told the board that access to quality treatment was possible as a result of government support.
She highlighted some of the challenges of the facility to include a shortage of manpower, inadequate space among others.
The CMD informed the board that a new building is being constructed to address the problem of lack of space. Besides the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria has donated a referral laboratory while training are offered to build staff capacity. Besides, SERVICOM ensures quality service at the facility.
The Board Chairman, Pauline Tallen, commended the Chief Medical Director and his team for the effective steps taken to bring quality healthcare the management of HIV patients.
On his part, the Director General of NACA, Dr Sani Alliyu, thanked the management of the hospital and appreciated them for accommodating the Board despite the short notice given to them.