The National Action Committee Against Aids (NACA) has said that the federal government is planning to commence free treatment for hepatitis patients across the country.

NACA Director General Alhaji Sani Aliyu disclosed this in Minna, Niger state on Tuesday when he visited the Emir of Minna, Dr Umar Faouq Bahago, in his palace.

Represented by the Director, Community Prevention and Care support Service of the agency, Mr Alex Ogundipe, the Director General said the modalities for the free treatment would be made known after the sentinel survey for HIV/AIDs and hepatitis which would begin nationwide in two weeks.

The federal government is presently giving free treatment to all HIV/AIDs patients in the country.

Sani Aliyu disclosed that the country had more than enough anti retroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS victims but lamented that some of the drugs were wasting away because of lack of adequate statistics of victims and areas where the cases were more prevalent.

“The survey we are going to carryout will give us the exact statistic of HIV/AIDs carriers in the country this will save for the country millions of naira spent on the procurement of drugs that are not needed”.

He described the survey to be carried out “as the biggest sample size that any country had ever done” saying that the exercise would also give the exact prevalence rate of the disease presently put at 1.2%.

The director general said all traditional rulers religiously leaders and other major stakeholders had been adequately mobilised to assist in sensitising their subjects and followers for the success of survey.

The Emir of Minna, Dr Umar Farouq Bahago, in a brief remark promised to give all necessary support to officials of NACA to ensure the exercise was successful in the state.

Dr Bahago also promised to intervene in any community where the exercise received resistance and provided telephone numbers through which the staff could contact him for assistance.

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