35th edition of World AIDS Day: NW Health Delegate targets young in combating HIV

During the celebration of the 35th edition of World AIDS Day in Bamenda, Chief town of the North West region of Cameroon, Dr Che Soh Kingsley regional Delegate for Public Health echoed some commendable progress made by the delegation in the fight against HIV/AIDS for the general public and in Adults while targeting children and adolescents.

Speaking during his opening statement at the Regional Hospital auditorium, Dr Che Soh opened up on the level of success recorded so far in terms of the 95%, 95%, 95% target aimed at reducing the pandemic come 2030 is concerned which is 95 % of people would have known their status, 95% placed on antiretroviral and 95% persons on viral surpression.  

Regional Delegate of Public Health Dr Che Soh Kingsley 

The general population of the North West is on 93%, 96% and 93%, on children 70%, 60%, 72% and adolescents between the ages of 10 to 19 years old stands at 78%, 78% and 72%. With such a record children and adolescents still have high risk which initiated the slogan “Orientating our Focus on children” for the forthcoming year. 

This year’s celebration was centred on the theme “Equalize”, meaning treatment, monitoring and care should be given to all including men, women and children. Despite the fact that for the past six years the region has been plagued with sociopolitical crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected the transportation of drugs to some communities. 

38.4 million people globally were living with HIV in 2021, 1.5 million people became newly infected with HIV, 650 000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses, 28.7 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy. A total of 84.2 million people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic while 40.1 million [33.6 million–48.6million] people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic. 

In Cameroon there was a 4% drop in 2011 to 2.7% in 2018 with about 500,000 persons estimated to be living with HIV nation wide. In the North West the prevalence dropped from 8.7% in 2004, to 6% in 2011 and 4.% in 2018 with a prevalence of 1.6% in men and 5.8% in women. 

From January to June 2022, 160,000 persons where tested in the region, 1,400 tested positive with a greater person on treatment. But about 8% of retained positive persons are not on treatment.

The routine Celebration of the 2022 World AIDS Day on Thursday December 1, at the Regional Fund for Health promotion at the Regional Hospital was characterised by March pass, sensitisation on the contraction and prevention methods of the disease as well as free screening to enable city dwellers know their status. 

The population has therefore been called upon to stay safe and healthy while supporting those already infected to attain the highest level of viral infection.  

Anye Nde Nsoh

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