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Nearly all persons living with HIV in Nigeria on treatment -Expert

Nigeria has achieved appreciable improvement in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) epidemic control as the nation attains closing the gap status with almost 2 million persons…

Nigeria has achieved appreciable improvement in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) epidemic control as the nation attains closing the gap status with almost 2 million persons living with HIV on treatment.

An expert in HIV epidemic control in the country, Dr Jay Osi Samuels, said this at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex.

Samuels, who is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Programs) of APIN Public Health Initiative, spoke while presenting the South African National Accreditation System certificate to OAUTHC Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory for its efficiency in testing.

He said, “The HIV project in Nigeria has been very impactful. As we speak now, we have close to 2 million people on treatment and the HIV prevalence in Nigeria is 2 million. It means we are getting to what they called closing the gap.”

He said the OAUTHC lab was able to achieve the accreditation having met the SANAS criteria and charged the hospital to sustain the standard.

OAUTHC Chief Medical Director, Professor John Akintunde Okeniyi, who received the certificate assured that the management would do more in providing tertiary healthcare services to Nigerians.

A Professor of Pediatrics in the hospital, Professor Ebunoluwa Aderonke Adejuyigbe, said the accreditation placed the OAUTHC PCR lab on the global reputation of high standard.

According to her, “The OAUTHC PCR laboratory equally serves as a regional testing hub for other facilities in Ondo. Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi. Oyo States, and sometimes as far as Benue State and NIMR in Lagos.

“Laboratory accreditation process is a globally acceptable means of identifying technically competent laboratories. It evaluates the competence and compliance of the laboratory to a standard and thereby provides assurance of the reliability of the test results produced by the laboratory.

“The Center for Disease Control through APIN has continued to support the facility with laboratory equipment and training of personnel. The facility currently has a COBAS analyzer (C4800) for running HIV Viral load as well as Early Infant Diagnosis tests for all patients enrolled in the facility.”

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