FG committed to funding HIV/AIDS response programmes

By Mustapha Yauri

Abuja –  The Federal Government is committed to funding of HIV and AIDS response programmes.

Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Sani Aliyu made this known in a statement as part of activities to commemorate the 2017 World AIDS Day with theme: “Right to health – Making it happen”.

The day is commemorated every year on Dec. 1.

He said individuals and institutions at various levels had a role to play to sustain the tempo to combat the virus now and hereafter.

According to him, “it is against this backdrop that this year’s theme Right To Health, Making It Happen has provided us with a lot to think about and Nigeria has aligned with this year’s theme in recognition of our own local need to scale up prevention efforts.”

The Director-General of NACA sad it was important to reflect as individuals, governments and institutions on the cores that have made the world Aids Day important.

Dr Sani said that in commemoration of the 2017 World AIDS Day, NACA “stands in solidarity with millions Nigerians who has become infected with HIV as well those who has died from AIDS related illness since the first case in Nigeria.”

Aliyu also said there is a need to scale up on the existing synergy among stakeholders in the path towards winning the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Dr Erasmus Morah, UNAIDS Country Director, was quoted as saying: “as commending Nigeria’s new commitment to enroll 60,000 people living with HIV on treatment and place an additional 50,000 more on treatment annually, using domestic resources”.

The Country Director added that: “Nigeria must work as quickly as possible to ensure that funds are released for the HIV response.”

Also, Mr Victor Omoshehin, National Coordinator, Network for the People Living with HIV, (NEPHWAN) said that Nigeria’s HIV response remained largely donor driven.

“Nigeria’s government should own up to the HIV and AIDS response.

“Putting money into the national response is an investment in humanity. Our continuous access to medication and our right to healthcare is a fundamental right.

“Government should make it happen,” he said.

He urged government to work towards realising the right to health for all Nigerians as a means to ending AIDS by 2030.(NAN)

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