In a bid to increase its internal funding, and sustain the national response to combat HIV/AIDS in the country, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, has made moves to enhance its partnership with the private sector.
According to a statement released on Saturday, the agency seeks to partner with the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS (NIBUCCA) and MTN Foundation in Nigeria.
NIBUCCA is a coalition of key players in the private sector that has set out its mandate to provide assistance and grants in activities connected to the rehabilitation, treatment, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS.
During a meeting held on Wednesday at the Access Bank headquarters in Lagos, the Director General of NACA, Sani Aliyu stated the need for such partnership with the private sector.
He said that with the level of dependency on international funds and dwindling of such funds, there is a need to look inwards to sustain the HIV/AIDS response in the country.
Mr. Aliyu added that the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS is a key aspect to ensure that the virus is eradicated by 2030 going by the UNAIDS target.
He said about N50,000 naira is required annually per patient receiving HIV/AIDS treatment while about 177,000 pregnant women are in need of HIV services in the country.
Mr. Aliyu, therefore, stated that it is essential to make HIV/AIDS services as simple as possible for patients to access and also sustain the treatment for life.
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank/Co-chairman of NIBUCAA, Herbert Onyewumbi said that the coalition represents the voice of the private sector in the campaign against HIV/AIDS.
He noted that the proposal by NACA in the fight against AIDS is a welcome development that would be improved and sustained.
At the meeting, the aids agency also sought collaboration with the private sector to set up an HIV/AIDS Trust Fund which will be solely managed by the private sector with technical support by the government through NACA as a coordinating agency.
In a similar meeting, the DG NACA also met with executives of MTN Foundation to discuss how the HIV/AIDS Call Centre currently supported by Etisalat and Airtel can be improved with the involvement of MTN.
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