Rivers disagrees with USAID on HIV/AIDS prevalence

The Rivers State Government has disagreed with the United
States Agency for International Development on the
prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the state.
The agency had recently listed Rivers and few other states as
areas where a high level of prevalence was recorded.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson Parker,
maintained that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the state was
still pegged at less than two percent.
Parker, who received USAID officials in his office when they
paid him a visit on Tuesday, said the publication by the
USAID that Rivers state has the highest prevalence rate of
HIV/AIDS in the country was wrong.
He appealed to the agency to take a second look at their
figures, pointing out that the state government has put in a
lot of resources into the control of HIV in the state.
“If this is wrong, the premise of your visit is wrong; it is
garbage in, garbage out. Your intent and the vigour with
which you came here is wrong; it is misplaced.
“They may have mixed up the figures in error. Maybe
somebody wants this figure in another state, which you
should be pushing, not Rivers State. That is my point here.
You cannot tell me to use these figures.
“You must come and work with us. Our community outreach
is 1.2 percent and how can you compare 1.2 percent with
15.2 percent,” the commissioner said.
Earlier, one of the country representatives of USAID, Adeleke
Oluwaseun had said the aim of the visit was to seek
collaboration with the state government following the
alleged high rate of HIV/AIDS in the state.
The Rivers State Government said it had spent about N1
billion to purchase palliative drugs to care for people living
with HIV/AIDS in the state.

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