Dr. Henry Egbe Ayuk, the Commissioner for Health in Cross River State, has revealed that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the state has been significantly reduced to nearly zero. However, he noted that patients from neighboring communities in the Republic of Cameroon are infiltrating state hospitals for treatme
This announcement was made during a media briefing in Calabar ahead of the World HIV/AIDS Day, coinciding with the annual Calabar Carnival and the 2023 edition of Christmas festivities.
Dr. Ayuk highlighted that patients from Obanlikwu Local Government Area and neighboring communities in Benue State are accessing medical treatment in Cross River State due to unchecked movement. Additionally, patients from Akwa Ibom State communities along the Cameroon Republic border are also attending state hospitals.
Despite fulfilling over 70% of the World Health Organization’s standards for eradicating HIV/AIDS and maintaining a record of zero daily deaths, Dr. Ayuk emphasized the need for continued mass screening and testing starting from December 1, 2023, marking World AIDS Day. A dedicated stand will facilitate early detection and treatment if necessary.
The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ekpenyong Etim Ayi, called for measures to minimize unrestricted movement in neighboring communities to prevent new cases. He urged community involvement within Cross River State to address the challenge of uncontrolled movement.
Dr. Ayi attributed the less than two percent prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the state to the uncontrollable influx of people from Cameroon Republic, Benue State, and Akwa Ibom State communities sharing common boundaries.
Interim Chairman of the State Action Committee for AIDS (SACA), Dr. Paul Odey, appealed for collaborative efforts from political leaders, community leaders, faith-based organizations, and stakeholders to combat the future tide of HIV/AIDS.