The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) on Monday urged the Federal Government and other stakeholders to fulfil their pledge to fund the testing and treatment of HIV/AIDS in the country.
Steve Aborisade, Advocacy and Marketing Manager of AHF, made the call on behalf of the Foundation on the sidelines of activities commemorating the organisation’s 30th global anniversary in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commemoration had the theme “Keeping the Promise’’.
“Everybody has a promise to keep on HIV and AIDS, and the government needs to keep the promise on funding to end AIDS as a public health challenge by 2030.
“It needs to take ownership of the HIV response and not be dependent on donor partners. For instance, the South African government funds 80 percent its domestic programmes, and it is not dependent on donors.
“The budget (in Nigeria) is generally is not encouraging and health must be funded because health is wealth,’’ Aborisade said.
He further reiterated AHF’s commitment to re-strengthening its partnership with relevant stakeholders to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2020 and end AIDS as a public health challenge by 2030.
Dr Modupe Oduwole, National Strategic Intervention Adviser, UNAIDS, also called on the Federal Government to take ownership of the HIV response in the country.
Oduwole said it was important for the Nigerian Government to take ownership of the HIV response of its citizens as donor funds are now dwindling.
“Beyond ownership, there is also the need for integrated approach to healthcare delivery, and revamping the whole healthcare sector for better care.’’
Dr Uche Okoro, Project Manager, FCT Agency for the Control of AIDS, further commended the government on its intervention in the treatment of HIV and AIDS in the country.
Okoro said government was working towards the inclusion of HIV and AIDS treatment in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“This will help to reduce the out-of-pocket spending of persons living with the virus.’’(NAN)