Ekiti State Government has restated its commitment to further reducing the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS to the barest minimum in all
parts of the state.
Speaking at a 2-day workshop for uniformed staff, Extension/Field Officers and other stakeholders in agriculture and rural sector, the state Commissioner for Rural Development and Community Empowerment, Chief Folorunso Olabode noted that the prevalence rate of the disease
dropped from 3.2% in 2001 to 1.4% in 2013.
The Commissioner said the Agricultural sector as one of the largest employers of labour and greatest sources of the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), bore a huge brunt of the disease which made it imperative for government to take the battle against it to the farm steeds and rural communities where majority of the farmers reside.
Olabode said Extension/Field Officers and other uniformed staff including forest guards and police produce inspectors have direct dealings with the farmers and rural dwellers in the state emphasizing that their established contact could be used to sensitize the people towards reducing HIV/AIDs prevalence rate in the rural areas.
According to him, the sensitization workshop was designed to expose the mode of disease transmission as well as care and support to people
living with the disease, promotion and control method of the disease.
He noted that participants would also be updated with the impacts of HIV/AIDs in the Agric and Rural development sectors and how best to
combat the disease through necessary precautionary methods.
Stressing the commitment of the government to the development of the rural areas, the Commissioner disclosed that the Fayemi administration
approved a sum of N694.5million for the construction of 2 bridges, 72 culverts 93 kilometers rural roads, provision of 26 hand dug wells in
rural communities across the state in 2013 fiscal years.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mrs. Adesola Oke who spoke through the Director of Administration and supply, Mr. Sunday Fasusi attributed the higher prevalence rate of HIV/AIDs in rural areas in the state to insufficient and incorrect information on the disease.
While urging participants to actively participate in the sensitization workshop, the Permanent Secretary urged rural dwellers who are yet to ascertain their HIV/AIDs status to go for free voluntary test and counseling.
She expressed appreciation to the World Bank HIV/AIDs programmes, State Aids Control Agency (SACA) and the wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi for their support for the programmes.
Last modified: August 25, 2013