Juliet Jacob Ochenje
The federal government has said it is collaborating with the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Global Fund to end the infection in Nigeria.
The Secretary to the Government of Federation, Senator George Akume, disclosed this during the ceremony of the World AIDS Day 2023 theme, ‘Communities: Leadership to End AIDS by 2030′ which held in Abuja on Friday.
Akume said, “President Bola Tinubu-led administration is committed to sustaining the initiative to treat more HIV patients annually using resources mobilised locally.”
According to the Director General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, the leadership of communities of persons living with HIV, key affected populations, women, adolescent and policy makers, religious, traditional and political leaders, civil society organisations, development partners, organised private sector, the general public and the media have critical role to ending social, cultural, legal and economic inequalities holding back progress to ending AIDS and elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
“Despite the government’s funding of the national response, evidence showed that the HIV response in Nigeria has really been donor driven,” he stated.
Going further, he stated, “In 2021, data showed that the total HIV expenditure was $532m, out of which $91.5m (17.2) percent was from public sources while $441m (82.8) percent was funded by International sources with others contributing less than one per cent.
“The goal of the initiative is centred on an effective and efficient HIV response owned, driven, resourced and led by the people and the government of Nigeria at different levels, with support from her partners. The key goal of the new HIV response initiative is to promote efficiency, Government-led shared responsibility and strengthen HIV multi sectoral response .
“As the country continues to make commendable progress towards achieving epidemic control necessary to end AIDS by 2030, we are also mindful of the fact that ending AIDS comes with huge challenge of sustainability of the control.”