30 September 2012

Nigeria: HIV Call Centres Receive N40 Million

Photo: Herald
At least 40 legislators were yesterday circum­cised under the Zimbabwe Parliamentarians Against HIV and Aids programme.

The national HIV/AIDS call centre recently commissioned by Nigerian First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan received a boost, last weekend with the tripartite signing agreement of N40 million support fund among National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Hope Worldwide Nigeria and Society for Family Health (SFH).

The fund made available by SFH for the Hope Worldwide-managed call centre is expected to cater for logistics and welfare of staff working at the centre for 15 months.

During the signing agreement ceremony in Abuja, the Director General, NACA, said the fund was a panacea to myriads of challenges besetting the centre. According to him, all the ten counselors and other staff working at the centre since inception in April this year had not been paid a dime.

The DG observed that the centre had been walking with one leg since it was commissioned as a result of paucity of fund. He however addedthat about 500 to 600 calls were received on the service daily, which according to him, had made government efforts on the centre worthwhile

Idoko canvassed for public use of the 6222 call line as the best way for the populace to know the nearest HIV/AIDS care centre available to them among other issues relating to the scourge.

He said, "while there is still not effective communication on the ailment in the country, the time is past when the popular opinion was that HIV/AIDS was contracted through mosquito bites and witchcraft."

In his remarks, Sir Bright Ekweremadu of SFH noted that only performance would make the agency be disposed to offering future aid for the project.

It would be recalled that the current HIV call number 6222 is available on one of the nation's communication service providers, Airtel, while NACA said efforts were on to include other leading communication service providers in the country for effective coverage

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