The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) says 130 indigent People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and vulnerable persons in Kano State benefited from its just concluded skills acquisition programme.
The Director General of the agency, Dr Gambo Aliyu, stated this on Thursday in Kano at the graduation and presentation of certificate to the beneficiaries of the empowerment and skills acquisition programme.
The 10-day training initiative taught the HIV vulnerable persons skills which included beautification, hairdressing, makeup and making of confectionery.
Aliyu said: “This exercise was organised to reduce new HIV infections in line with the UNAIDS strategy to get the HIV epidemic under control by 2030.’’
He said that essence of the empowerment was to transform the lives of PLHIV and indigent HIV vulnerable persons in the state.
“We believe that empowering individuals with HIV will give them the opportunity to go to facilities and take medication and access the needed care.
“With the empowerment of 130 people in Kano and 122 in Oyo, we are already seeing positive results and we will have good stories to tell by the end of the year,” he said.
Earlier, Director-General, Kano State Agency for the Control of AIDS ( SACA), Dr Sabitu Shanono said that poverty, gender inequality and disabilities were vulnerabilities which predispose people to HIV infection.
According to him, economic empowerment is a viable tool toward ending HIV epidemic.
He commended NACA for involving vulnerable and indigent people in the empowerment programme.
Shanono said that the state government would roll out a big empowerment programme for the vulnerable to compliment NACA ‘s efforts.
Also, Mr Abdulkadir Ibrahim, the National Coordinator of Network for People Living with HIV and Aids, thanked NACA for the empowerment programme , saying the gesture would make them to be self reliant.
“Vulnerable and indigent people are very critical if we must meet the global target to end HIV epidemic by 2030,” he said.
Some of the beneficiaries who received start up packs, said the gesture would help them have good means of livelihood.
They said that the skills acquisition programme had impacted their lives and urged NACA to expand the programme to accommodate more people.
The Director General of NACA also inaugurated the new zonal office of NACA in Kano.
The 130 benefeciaries were drawn from different support groups, including Association of Women living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS among others.(NAN )