Navy conducts free HIV screening, treatment for 1,000 people in Rivers

No fewer than 1,000 men, women and children benefitted from a free HIV screening and treatment organised by the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder (NNS) in Port Harcourt.

The free medical outreach featured free HIV screening, counselling and treatment, CD4 counts for HIV positive patient, blood pressure and sugar test, malaria test/treatment.

Commodore Sanusi Ibrahim, the Commander of NNS Pathfinder said on Tuesday that the exercise was aimed at preventing, detecting and treating residents of Rumuolumeni community.

He said that free mosquito nets would also be distributed to the beneficiaries at the end of the one-day exercise.

“As part of activities to mark the Nigeria Navy diamond jubilee (60 years) celebration, NNS Pathfinder decided to carry out free medical rhapsody for residents in our host communities.

“We felt it was important to mark this celebration by organising free medical rhapsody with focus to detect, counsel and treat beneficiaries diagnosed with ailment.

“We will conduct free test on HIV, sugar level, blood pressure, malaria, while those who test positive to these tests, will be counselled and given drugs,” he said.

Ibrahim, represented by NNS Pathfinder’s Base Operation Officer, Cmdr. Ugochukwu Ajulu, said those diagnosed with major ailments would also proceed to hospitals for further treatment.

The commander said that efforts were being made to making the exercise a monthly or quarterly event to enable more people to benefit.

One of the beneficiaries, Gloria Ernest, 24, who expressed delight because she tested negative to HIV, said she had never participated in HIV screening out of fear that she might be stigmatised, if she tested positive.

She thanked and urged the navy to make the exercise a regular one.

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