Nigeria has received over $1.1 billion for HIV intervention from Global Fund, the Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Gambo Aliyu, has said.
Aliyu made this known in Abuja during the presentation of the publication entitled: “From the darkest of days to a new dawn,” by NACA, United Nations, Network of People Living With HIV and AIDS (NEPWHAN) and Federal Ministry of Health.
He said the funds made the country the largest recipient of HIV funding, which would span last year to next year.
He urged stakeholders to ramp up domestic funding for HIV, especially as international funding is dwindling.
According to the NACA chief, the publication is based on the evolution of HIV in Nigeria over the past 35 years. “The quicker we begin to look at domestic financial sustainability, the better for Nigeria because we do not expect donor support to continue forever. Nigeria has the largest global fund portfolio in a single country with over $1.1 billion for last year to 2023 implementation. We have also had increased domestic HIV financing with 50,000 additional ART yearly using the government of Nigeria’s resources and the establishment of the HIV Trust Fund.
“The new dawn is a rich inventory of insights and great lessons to guide health workers, researchers and policy makers in addressing Nigeria’s unfinished business in HIV/AIDS. We must close the unmet HIV treatment needs among women, children and men,” Aliyu added.
The United States Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard, said: “Today is such an incredibly important moment to reflect on how far we have come in the past 35 years. We remember in the 1980s when we never thought that there would be a world in which you will be free from HIV; in which it would be a manageable disease. Through the efforts of so many people – partners like the United States, Global Fund, Nigerian government agencies, activists, civil society – we all worked together and came up with systems, data and outreach that has brought Nigeria now credibly within months of epidemic control. It is an incredible achievement. It is a proud moment for the United States as a major partner and beneficiary of some $6 billion since 2003, to reflect on what it is that people of good will and resources and good plans can accomplish together.”
The UNICEF Country Representative, Peter Hawkins, said: “This book does very well to help us understand the great achievements Nigeria has made over the years. No child should be born with HIV. We must do all we can through testing, care etc., to make this happen. We must also integrate HIV treatment in the public health architecture of the country, especially in the primary health care (PHC) system. We must invest in PHCs which is the entry point to care. Domestic investment in the PHC system is integral.”
According to the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, “The presentation of the publication is timely because we are a few miles to the UNAIDS 95-95-95 target. It would provide a platform for us to build on.”
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, represented by the Permanent Secretary General Services Office, Maurice Nnamdi, said: “Thirty-five years is a long journey, and without the commitment of the PLHIV, this day would have been a mirage. Through this collection of articles, we have the collection of 35 years of Nigeria’s efforts towards eradicating HIV. THE AIDS indicator and impact survey for our response were adapted to responding to COVID-19. Lessons from HIV response were adopted to combat COVID-19. The Federal Government is committed to improving the health of Nigerians and achieving SDG 3. Nigeria is committed to combating the barriers to accessing HIV treatment.”
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