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The 2020 World AIDS Day in Cross River State was marked on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 with a walk around Calabar, with the state government calling on citizens to present themselves for routine testing.
At the Flag-off of the exercise, the Cross River State Deputy Governor Prof. Ivara Esu said the state government is committed to reducing new infection rates and halt transmission by developing and promoting policies that engender citizens healthy living.
The Deputy Governor held that stakeholders in the health sector in the state have continued to do all they can to build on the gains of recent successes and work towards improving on their indices through awareness creation and improved client’s services.
“The state is poised towards ensuring that in less than no time there would be zero percent transmission of HIV/AIDs in Cross River State. We have decentralized our response program through the setting up of Local Government and Community-based response platform to meet the needs of Cross Riverians.” He said.
Speaking earlier, the state Commissioner for health, Dr Betta Edu encouraged everyone to get tested as she noted that, the state in collaboration with partners have introduced an oral test kit to minimize piercing which is another method of HIV/AIDs transmission.
On her part, the Director-General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong urged Cross Riverians to ensure that they know their HIV/AIDs status
Dr Ekpenyong said an HIV/AIDS-free generation is possible if all hands are put on deck as well as support for victims is offered. She urged pregnant women to always visit primary health care facilities for antenatal care services to know their status and prevent mother to child transmission.
Also speaking, the Director-General of the Cross River State Agency for the control of AIDS, Dr Ansa Echeri admonished people to regularly present themselves for testing as she noted that HIV is not a death sentence but early detection can improve chances of a healthy lifestyle and building of resistance against other common diseases.
World AIDS Day is celebrated on 1 December each year, to raise awareness and unite people in the fight against HIV and show support for people living with HIV.