Nigerian govt. to fund treatment of additional 50,000 people living with HIV – Official

R-L: Dr Sani Aliyu, DG NACA, Mr Mustapha Boss, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Mrs Pauline Tallen, Chairman, NACA Board during the 4th National Council on AIDS held in Abuja.

The federal government plans to provide funds for the treatment of an additional 50,000 people living with HIV in Nigeria every year, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has said.

He said the plan is in line with the government’s commitment to continue to address challenges that constitute barriers to accessing HIV treatment in the country.

There are about 3.2 million Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS, with only one million currently on treatment.

Also, the treatment of 90 per cent of those are being funded by donor agencies.

Speaking at the 4th National Council on HIV/AIDS in Abuja on Tuesday, Mr. Mustapha said the government was working towards taking ownership of HIV treatment funding in Nigeria.

“As you are aware, HIV remains a key challenge in our country. With an estimated 3.2 million Nigerians living with the virus, we have the second highest burden of HIV in the world.

“Of even greater concern is the fact that less than half of those living with the virus in Nigeria are aware of their HIV status. It is also instructive to note that the majority of the one million Nigerians currently on treatment are being looked after from donor resources,” Mr. Mustapha said.

“The federal government is committed to improving the health of Nigerians and will continue to confront and address the challenges affecting HIV services that constitute a key barrier to accessing HIV treatment”.

He said the government was working towards increasing national and state-level HIV funding, ownership and sustainability of HIV response in Nigeria.

According to Mr. Mustapha, the council meeting will provide stakeholders the opportunity to brainstorm on how best to maximise resources and improve efficiency in HIV service delivery in the country.

In his welcome address, the Director-General of the National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA), Sani Aliyu, called for more efficient utilisation of resources in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country.

“We need to make our money go further, by exploring ways to increase our efficiency in the delivery of these services,” he said.

“With improved efficiency in our delivery services, we will certainly make significant strides towards achieving our HIV national targets and contribute towards achieving global targets to end AIDS by 2030,” he stated.

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