Nigeria on the Verge of becoming the “HIV/AIDS Eradication Capital”

Healthcare Pharmaceuticals

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, did launch N62 Bn (surpassing target of 62 Bn Naira by the year 2027) trust for helping Nigeria put a full-stop to AIDS as threat to public health along with (US$ 149 Mn) placing more number of people suffering from HIV on a yearly course of treatment. As such, at the launch of HTFN (HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria), he pledged on the behalf of his administration that health interventions to address public health emergencies and fatal diseases would be prioritized.

The High Level Meeting

Buhari also referred to the “High Level Meeting” regarding HIV/AIDS conducted at the United Nations General Assembly, wherein he expressed his firmness on renewed global action for addressing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African continent. He also quoted that Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director of Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has acknowledged that domestic fundings needs to be upscaled as Nigeria is amongst the top rankers related to HIV infections amongst the kids.

Buhari harped on the fact that putting an end to AIDS in Nigeria needs sizable domestic funding. The funding available as of now is used to place a greater percentage of HIV-infected population on the treatment mode. At the same time, the fact that robust mobilization of domestic resources needs enduring partnership can’t be ruled out.

The Private Sector

On the above-mentioned note, honorable President has gone on records to mention that the government of Nigeria’s purposeful partnership, that too, with the private sector to combat Covid-19 has made inroads to financing solution for handling HIV.

HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria is the outcome of joint efforts between NACA (National Agency for the Control of AIDS) and Nigeria Business Coalition. The other purpose is that of rendering HIV-free babies.

The present scenario is such that 80% of the funds from private sector come from external donors, especially the PEPFAR (the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and the Global Fund for fighting malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS. This contribution is 0.1-2% of the total utilization of funds. HTFN is expected to increase this percentage, particularly to eliminate Mother-to-Child transmission of HIV.

Motivate to Donate

It is a known fact that close to US$ 6.2 Bn dollars have been spent regarding HIV response since the year 2005. Dangote Group’s Chairman, CEO, and Chief Launcher of Dangote Group “Alhaji Aliko Dangote” has made a sincere appeal to corporate organizations and individuals to donate on a generous note to the fund mentioned above. The fund is chaired by the Group MD of Access Bank Plc “Dr. Hebert Wigwe”.

In the last 3 years, NACA has identified as well as placed extra 900,000 people infected by HIV on treatment, which takes the total count of Nigerians being treated for HIV to 1.7 Mn. Nigeria is, thus, on the fast track with respect to controlling the spread of HIV. President Buhari has committed to bring HIV under control by the year 2023.

It could be inferred that Nigeria, along with being a strong player in telecom, is all set to be the strong contender for eradication of HIV/AIDS.

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