The Nigerian government has pledged to release $12 million to end epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other preventable and treatable disease across the globe.
The government announced the commitment at the sixth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) in Lyon, France.
Leaders of countries around the world made commitments through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end these epidemics by 2030.
HIV, tuberculosis and malaria are preventable and treatable diseases, yet globally, they kill more than 2.6 million people each year.
A statement by the head, public relations and protocol division of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Toyin Aderibigbe, disclosed that a total of $ 14.02 billion was pledged at the conference for the next three years.
According to the statement, the global fund investment case projected that the money will help save 16 million lives by 2030 through health system strengthening, reinforcing health security via disease surveillance and tackling health inequities, including human rights and gender barriers.
The fund is also expected to above all spur massive growth in domestic investment in healthcare service deliveries.
“In solidarity, 23 implementing countries from Africa made pledges to the Global Fund with Nigeria demonstrating its support with the international community by making a financial pledge of US$ 12 million – a 20% increase- to the global fund.”
The Nigerian government also expressed its commitment to increase domestic resources for health and disease programmes.
Speaking on the commitments made by country leaders, the executive director of Global Fund, Peter Sands, said the world is succeeding in reaching over $14 billion needed to help save 16 million lives across the globe.
Mr Sands said: “With the incredible support of partners and donors around the world, we succeeded in reaching over US$ 14 billion to help save 16 million lives.
“Building on the concept of shared responsibility, Nigeria ensured through the ongoing budgetary process that President Buhari’s commitment at the United Nations General Assembly in 2017 to make government resources (approximately N3.5 billion) available to put an additional 50,000 Nigerians on life-saving antiretroviral therapy every year is realized,” part of the statement read.
In his remarks, the Nigerian minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, said every Nigerian has a right to good health and the government has a responsibility to ensure that this basic right is available to them.
Mr Ehanire said the government is committed to enhancing ownership and sustainability of the HIV/AIDS response.
The UNAIDS Executive Director, Gunilla Carlsson, said Nigeria bears a huge burden of the global TB, malaria and HIV epidemics so it is imperative that both domestic and international investments are urgently scaled up.
“The increase in Nigeria’s pledge to the Global Fund sends a strong signal that Nigeria is ready and committed to ending its TB, malaria and HIV epidemics.” She said
In his reaction, the Director-General of NACA, Gambo Aliyu, said: “The continued Government of Nigeria funding for growing the National Treatment and Prevention Programmes is vital for the sustainability of the AIDS response.”
Mr Aliyu also appealed to state governors to equally commit to investing to end AIDS in Nigeria as a public health threat by 2030.
The National Coordinator of the Network for the People Living with HIV, Abdulkadir Ibrahim, said: “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 health care is a fundamental right. The government should make it happen,” Mr Ibrahim said.