HIV/AIDS: UNFPA integrates services for efficiency, coverage in Adamawa

he UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has integrated its services to ensure efficiency and enhanced coverage in Adamawa.
Mrs Tulhunwgu Uziel, the Reproductive Health Coordinator and UNFPA Desk Officer in Adamawa Ministry of Health,
disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Adamawa.

Uziel said UNFPA had been assisting Adamawa in different areas including HIV/AIDS, Gender Based Violence, Reproductive Health and others, noting that the projects had recorded remarkable successes in the state.

She explained that integration entailed providing antenatal care, adolescent and youth care, Sexual Reproductive Health, as well as others at all the healthcare facilities across the state.
She added that measures were also introduced to eliminate stigma among people living with HIV/AIDS.

She explained that the integrated services provided to the people was impactful “because we consider it important not to just provide specific services such as distribution of condoms to persons living with HIV/AIDS but merged it with other healthcare services to strengthen the success achieved in reduction of stigmatisation.

“HIV/AIDS testing, counselling and other healthcare services were incorporated in the same basket at all the 426 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in Adamawa.

“PHCs are closer and accessible to the public within the communities, so UNFPA supplies family planning commodities and others supports to the peoplethere.”

The reproductive health coordinator pointed out that trained health personnel at PHCs educate the public on barrier methods along with the distribution of condoms to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

She, however, said that condoms distribution had stopped for a while due to the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown and other reasons.

She added that patronage of other family planning methods had drastically increased in the state due to awareness on the importance of child spacing, HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

Uziel said “UNFPA supports radio and television jingles, community mobilisation, as well as door-to-door sensitisation in Adamawa.

“We were also supported in school programmes at both secondary and post secondary schools where peers engaged in health talks with emphasis on HIV/AIDS.”

She added that “Safe Space Centres for Women and Girls” were established at different locations to empower vulnerable women and girls with

psychosocial support and skills as part of UNFPA’s interventions.
“UNFPA provided HIV testing kits, psychosocial support, delivery kits to prevent mother-to-child transmission and other desirable care to strengthen its activities,” she said.

According to her, other areas of UNFPA support include Gender Based Violence (GBV) survivors’ support and treatment, Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) treatment.

She, however, added that cases of GBV increased to 28 to 30 cases during the COVID-19 pandemic against 10 to 14 cases per month recorded earlier.

The coordinator stressed the need for sustained community mobilisation, media awareness campaigns on HIV/AIDS and other diseases to achieve further reduction of cases.

She called for economic support to people living with HIV/AIDS for them to engage in some productive ventures to earn a living. (NAN)