FG To Spend N62 Billion On HIV Patients’ Treatment
Information reaching Ibom Focus says that FG To Spend N62 Billion annually On HIV Patients’ Treatment
The Federal Government, in a bid to end AIDS as a public health threat, has revealed plans to spend N62bn annually to treat people living with HIV. President Muhammadu Buhari made the promise on Tuesday while launching a N62bn HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria.
He promised that his administration would continue to prioritise health interventions to address killer diseases and public health emergencies. President Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said Nigeria’s purposeful partnership with the private sector in the response to COVID 19 pandemic had provided a readily available financing solution to leverage on, to sustain the HIV response.
The statement read in part, “At the last United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, I made a call for a renewed global action to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa.
”Ending AIDS as a public health threat in Nigeria will require increased domestic funding. We have continued to make good our commitment of placing more people living with HIV on treatment annually using national resources.
”However, strong domestic resource mobilization with an enduring partnership and shared responsibility is required to sustain the response to HIV and other emerging public health emergencies.”
President Buhari commended the National Agency for the Control of AIDS and the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS for their efforts in establishing the HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria to secure a generation of babies free of HIV.
He also expressed delight with the attendance in the persons of notable global key players in HIV response and from the private sector at the event and the pledges made.
”Going forward, I hope The HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria will galvanize more of the private sector and other partners to surpass the target of N62bn in the next five years,” he added.
In his remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha announced that since 2005 about $6.2bn had been spent on HIV response in Nigeria.
He said, ”About 80 per cent of the funds were contributed by external donors, mainly the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Private Sector contributed 0.1 per cent to two per cent of total funds with the rest of funds provided by the Nigerian government.”
Mustapha, while acknowledging NACA’s efforts to promote resource mobilisation to complement existing external support, said the Federal Government had sustained the treatment and financing of 50,000 PLHIV annually.
He said the launch of the HTFN will guarantee funding from the private sector-led resources for HIV interventions especially for the elimination of the Mother-to-Child transmission of the virus.
The Chief Launcher and Chairman/CEO of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said the mission of the private sector-led fund proposed by NACA, alongside the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCAA), is to ensure mobilisation of resources towards the eradication of AIDS in Nigeria, starting with the Prevention of Mother-to-Child transmission of the virus.
”I am reminded that we have two million of our compatriots living with HIV/AIDS and it is our collective responsibility to bring this number down to zero,” he said.
Dangote, who is Africa’s richest man, appealed to individuals and corporate organisations in the country to donate generously toward the Fund, currently chaired by Dr Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc.