No fewer than 300 children, whose parents have died of the dreaded HIV/AIDS disease in Niger State, are currently on the support register of the state government.
Director General, Niger State Agency for the Control of Aids (SACA), Alhaji Baba Umaru, disclosed this at the closing ceremony of a two-week seminar for 88 facility staff and community volunteers who were trained on how to handle orphans and vulnerable children whose parents died of the dreaded disease.
According to him, "Presently, there are 300 children whose parents have died of HIV/AIDS in our support register. We are working hard to improve on this register to get those that are not yet captured in the register.
"The state Governor, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, recently directed local government chairmen in the state to adopt some of these orphans to provide adequate care for them. They were also directed to establish orphanage homes in their respective local governments."
He said that government was particularly concerned with the education and welfare of the children, and commended the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) for training the personnel to care for vulnerable children and those orphaned by HIV/AIDS in the country.
The director general explained that the state government appreciated the efforts of the Management Sciences for Health in establishing six comprehensive HIV/ AIDS treatment sites in six local government areas of the state, adding that there were also 18 feeder sites and care centres where prevention of mother to child infection of the disease are being done.
Project Director of Management Sciences for Health in Nigeria, Dr. Paul Waibale, has earlier explained that the community volunteers were drawn from six states of Adamawa, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Kebbi and Taraba states.
He explained that the people were being trained on how to manage the people infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS scourge particularly the orphans and venerable children.
Waibale said that the project was sponsored in the country by USAID to reach out to the over three million children orphaned by the disease in the country, adding that the training was to build the capacity of the volunteers to enable them face the challenges of the orphans and vulnerable children.
"They are our ambassadors in those communities," he said, adding that the objective was to provide quality, prevention and comprehensive HIV/AIDS care and management for all those who have been touched by the dreaded disease.
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