The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has ordered the Ministry of Health to within seven days draft modalities for the implementation of the basic part of the State Agency for the Control of Aids (SACA) Law.
Obaseki gave the order when he received the executive members of the Edo State chapter of the Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (CiSHAN), who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Benin City.
According to the governor, “it is worthless to enact a law without seeing to its full implementation” and so he mandated the Ministry of Health to forward to his office, modalities for the establishment of the SACA Board, as well as the constitution of the Governor’s Council on HIV/AIDS.
Obaseki who commended members of the association for helping to curb the spread of the disease in the state, advised: “Do not relent despite the frustrations you face. We appreciate the work you are doing and we thank you for the lives you are saving”.
He assured of his administration’s readiness to collaborate more with the association especially in the area of eradicating the HIV/AIDS stigma and pledged that the “Ministry of Communication and Orientation would assist in publicising and educating our people on the various prevention methods.”
Earlier, the state coordinator of CiSHAN, Dr. Bright Oniovokukor, said the association worked closely with governments and other HIV/AIDS awareness creation partners to curb the spread of the disease.
Oniovokukor commended the efforts of the state government in signing the SACA bill into law and appealed for its full implementation.
He said the establishment of the EDOSACA Board and the constitution of the Governor’s Committee on AIDS as stipulated by the law, would go a long way in improving the state’s response rate to the disease.
“Donor agencies are gradually leaving and most private institutions in the state have not keyed into the HIV/AIDS response. The people remain ours and we must care for them, we know that implementation of the EDOSACA Act would be able to close this gap,’’ he added.