Nigeria News

FG Probes Controversial Anti-Retroviral Drugs

Following complains by the Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) over complications from Tyonex Anti-Retroviral drugs, the federal government yesterday said government had commenced investigation into the matter.
Speaking to THISDAY in Abuja, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Dan Nwomeh, said contrary to the statement credited to NEPWHAN that the ministry was insensitive  to their plight, government swung into action immediately it was notified of the alleged complications from the drug.
According to him, "Immediately the ministry received the letter of complain, it commenced investigation. Efforts were also put in place to ensure that NAFDAC and other regulatory agencies take up the issue."
Nwomeh further explained that the minister takes issues of ARV and its standard very seriously, and would not want the process to be derailed.
But efforts to speak with the Director of HIV/AIDS Programme in the ministry, Dr. Evelyn Ngige, were not fruitful as she was not available for comments.
She also did not pick her calls neither did she reply texts messages when THISDAY contacted her.
In another development, the police yesterday said plans are underway to introduce HIV/AIDS prevention techniques into the curricula in its colleges and other training institutions.
Speaking to journalists, the Coordinator of Police Action Committee on AIDS (PACA), Dr. Grace Okudo, a Commissioner of Police, said the programme would include the teaching of "sexuality, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS in all the police colleges and other institutions of learning."
Okudo debunked claims by a national daily (not THISDAY) stating that the force had high prevalence among its female workforce.
She explained that the prevalence was even below the national average.
The PACA Coordinator maintained that "efforts by the top hierarchy of the force have started yielding fruits, given that, in 2006, the prevalence was 3.5, but in 2010, it went down to 2.6, there are prospects that it may go down further," she said.

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