Lagos screens over 600,000 persons for HIV/AIDS

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

Over 645,000 persons have so far been screened by the Lagos State Aids Control Agency (LASACA) in the last 11 months.

Out of the number, more than 47,000 people are receiving free anti-Retroviral drugs in the state.

This came to the fore during the annual ministerial press briefing of the Lagos State Ministry of Health where the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris disclosed that the HIV prevalence in the state stood at 4.1 percent.

Dr Idris stated that most of the activities of the ministry were carried out in collaboration with donor agencies within and outside Nigeria.

“The agency in collaboration with NACA-SUREP conducted two medical outreaches in June 2016 at Oshodi and Ejigbo and in December in Somolu and Ikorodu; 9,652 clients were provided with free HIV counselling and test.
Nine CSOs were funded to conduct HIV prevention interventions for the key target populations, that is, MARPs. The Agency in collaboration with Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation conducted skill acquisition training on Income Generating activities for 200 people living with HIV/AIDs, with the view to providing them with economic empowerment,”
 he highlighted.

The Commissioner also said that in a bid to quickly respond to the issue of staff shortage, a total of 601 medical staff were recruited boost the public sector health delivery capacity in the 26 hospital units.

According to him, a total of 6,132 members of staff were trained during Continuing Medical Education (CME) sessions centrally and at various hospital units; to ensure that serving doctors and other professionals meet the annual practicing license renewal requirement.

“As a further effort to address the issue of staff shortage, the Governor of Lagos State, Ambode Akinwunmi approved for employment a total of 33 personnel for the Radiology Department and 55 House Officers through the exit replacement window,” the commissioner reiterated.

Successes recorded
Dr Idris also highlighted some achievements in the health sector including the first successful Bone Bridge Surgery in West Africa and successful cochlear implant surgeries done on three deaf patients in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital-LASUTH without foreign Doctors’ support in August 2015.

“LASUTH had its first successful Kidney transplant on 11th November 2015 carried out by a LASUTH team of Urologists and Nephrologists. Patient was discharged in good condition on 1st December, 2015. Another transplant is being planned. Vision Care and South Korean Community in Nigeria in collaboration with LASUTH provided free cataract surgeries for 120 Lagosians. Outpatient treatment was also provided for over 250 patients. 100 percent success rate was recorded during the mission which was held from 9th – 13th November 2015,” he stressed.

 He further stressed that, “LASUTH has set up a Language Bank comprising of identified staff with abilities to communicate in other languages to help facilitate caregivers/patients communication in the hospital. Various new equipment were acquired to service delivery including the BTL 5000 electrotherapy machine was acquired to enhance access to physiotherapy services.”

Dr Idris hinted that the department of Radiology was awarded full accreditation after a visit by the West African Postgraduate College in June 2015.

“Departments of Internal Medicine, ENT, Psychiatry and Paediatrics were granted accreditations by the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria in June 2015. The first female Oncologist in Nigeria, Dr. Fatiregun Omolara emanated from LASUTH.
“LASUTH received an award as Tertiary Healthcare Provider of the year and Best Tertiary Hospital in Lagos by the Global Health Project and West African College of Nursing. LASUTH was awarded the World Quality Award 2015 in the platinum category by the Business Initiative Directions (BID). By this award, LASUTH is internationally recognized as a driving force for quality and excellence. LASUTH won the International Facility Management Award (IFMA),”
he added.