The Hon. Commissioner for Health, Women Affairs and Social Development, Barr (Mrs) Ngozi Njoku, recently played host to Excellence Community Education Welfare Scheme (ECEWS). The occasion was a courtesy visit by the Imo State Team to brief the newly appointed commissioner on the programs of ECEWS, coverage and accomplishments.
Dr. Tochukwu Noh, the ECEWS State Program Manager for Imo State who led the ECEWS delegation on the visit congratulated the Hon. Commissioner on her well-deserved appointment, and thanked the Ministry for the tremendous support to the program of ECEWS in Imo State. He used the opportunity to update the Commissioner on activities of the organization in the state including comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, and care and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS under the CDC/PEPFAR-funded Local Capacity Enhancement Project (LOCATE) Programme. According to the State Program Manager, ECEWS has expanded access, enabling 133,017 individuals to know their HIV status. 1571 individuals living with HIV have been provided with care and treatment services across 2 comprehensive facilities, with 288 families benefiting from the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Additionally 471 orphans and vulnerable children have been provided with healthcare, nutrition, protection, and educational services under the project. Health systems have been strengthened through capacity building for health workers in various domains of HIV intervention, infrastructural development, and quality control.
Responding, the Hon. Commissioner, expressed appreciation for the work of ECEWS in the state, and thanked staff and volunteers for their commitment and contribution to efforts made at halting and reversing the trend of HIV in the state. She pledged her continuous support of the work of the organization, noting that they were in alignment with the Governor’s vision of touching lives.
Also in attendance at the visit was Dr. Joseph Okeagu – Permanent Secretary, Dr. Emeh Desmond – State AIDS Program Coordinator, a representative of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and a team from the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH).
The LOCATE project, funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of the US President Emergency Funds for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is in its third year of operation. The Project is implemented in Okigwe Senatorial Zone covering the six LGAs – Okigwe, Onuimo, Isialla Mbano, Ehime Mbano, Ihitte Uboma and Obowo, supporting services in 37 health facilities and one Community Based Organization – Community Life Advancement Project (CLAP).