By G9ija

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) says it is working to ensure that all patients of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are given a priority in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination in the country.

The Director-General of the NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu, stated this on Sunday while briefing reporters at an empowerment programme organised by the agency in Gumel Local Government Area of Jigawa State.

He noted that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines were safe and would go a long way in boosting the immune system of HIV patients.

“The Astra-Zeneca vaccine is safe for everyone, including those with HIV-AIDs, and we are collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, to ensure that victims of HIV are prioritised in the vaccination across the country,” Aliyu said.

On Friday, the NACA boss presented starter kits to 180 people living with the virus in Gumel.

He explained that the beneficiaries are trained HIV/AIDS people in Jigawa state that were grilled on six income-generating trades to become self-reliant.

According to Aliyu, the beneficiaries are drawn from the 27 Local Government Areas of the state and have received intensive training in Plaster of Paris (POP), painting, interlock, barbing, confectionery, and hairdressing, comprises men women.

He noted that the agency had provided drugs and other medical supports to people living with HIV in the state.

The NACA boss, however, urged the beneficiaries to use the starter kits judiciously and contribute meaningfully to the economic growth of their communities, the state, and the nation at large.

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by HIV which damages a patient’s immune system and interferes with the ability of the body to fight infections and diseases.