By SundiataPOST, Abuja
Prof. John Idoko, Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), said the HIV National Call Centre would provide correct information on HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and reproductive health.
Idoko said this in Abuja on Thursday at the inauguration of the steering committees of the Call Centre on HIV and AIDS and Related Diseases and the Resource Mobilisation Technical Working Group.
He explained that the call centre would use information, education and communication as means of intervention.
“We are looking to a future where the call centre can be expanded to other health issues related to HIV, like TB, family planning, malaria and diabetes.”
The director general said that efforts were being made to eradicate many of the diseases in Nigeria as “only 24 per cent of young people had access to correct information in Nigeria’’.
“I believe that the establishment of this national call centre will go a long way in strengthening our national response to HIV and AIDS, as it is in other countries of the world.
Idoko, however, added that Nigeria as a rapidly growing country was full of young people, who would soon come of age for sexual activities and they needed to be educated.
He said that government was committed to putting more people on drugs, adding that it would be impossible without adequate information and data, which the call centres would help to provide.
He said that the major tools of prevention were emphasis on knowing one’s status through testing, understanding the main methods of transmission, which were sexual intercourse, blood and from mother-to-child.
Also speaking, Dr Emmnuel Alhassan, Director, Resources Mobilisation Department, NACA, said that the centre commenced on April, 26.
Alhassan said that people using Airtel and Etisalat could call 6222 for free to get proper information on HIV and related diseases.
He said that the committees would provide leadership and strategies oversight for the centre and also mobilise adequate financial resources in support of the implementation of the centre.