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FG Partners US And Others To End HIV/AIDS By 2030

Federal Government of Nigeria has announced a partnership with the United States, the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and the Global Fund on an initiative aimed at ensuring country ownership and sustainability of national response to HIV-AIDS beyond 2030.

Gatekeepers News reports that the Secretary to the Government of Federation, Senator George Akume revealed that President Bola Tinubu’s administration is committed to sustaining the initiative to treat more HIV patients annually using resources mobilised locally.

The SGF, while speaking during the commemoration of World AIDS Day in Abuja on Friday, said the government recognised the invaluable contributions of communities in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Akume said, “I must commend the National Agency for the Control of AIDS for its commitment and leadership to end AIDS as a public health threat in our country.

“The administration of President Bola Tinubu is committed to ending AIDS by 2030 and will ensure no one is left behind in providing access to HIV services across the country. A sustainable HIV response is part of the renewed hope agenda of this administration.

“NACA, in collaboration with the Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS recently launched a N62bn private sector-driven HIV/AIDS Trust Fund of Nigeria.

“This is yet another unique achievement in Sub-Saharan Africa. We call on the organized private sector to ensure the private business community delivers on its pledge to support the Government’s effort to achieve an HIV-free generation where no baby is born with HIV in Nigeria.

“We recognise the invaluable contributions of communities in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It is within these communities that we have found resilience, determination, and the will to make a difference. The strength of these communities has propelled us towards achieving the global goal of ending AIDS by 2030.

“Nigeria aligns fully with global solidarity and shared responsibilities which requires us to view global health responses in a new way, The government of “Renewed Hope” of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to sustaining the President’s initiative to treat more HIV patients annually using resources mobilised locally.

“I am happy to note that the key strategy for sustainability and country ownership of HIV to be launched today indicates a pivotal commitment towards ending AIDS by 2030 and beyond, with states providing leadership. I, therefore, encourage the state government to key into this agenda for ownership of sustainable HIV response in Nigeria. I equally acknowledge and appreciate the outstanding support and commitment of the United Nations, Government and people of the United States of America, and the Global Funds for their unflinching support over the years to keep people living with HIV alive in Nigeria.”

In his remarks, the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr Gambo Aliyu, said the leadership of communities of persons living with HIV, key affected populations, women, adolescents and young persons; policymakers, religious, traditional and political leaders, civil society organisations, development partners, organised private sector, the general public and the media has critical role to ending social, cultural, legal and economic inequalities holding back progress to ending AIDS and elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Aliyu said the sustainability agenda was an initiative of NACA in collaboration with its development partners supporting the national HIV response that ensures that community leaders take ownership of the programme.

According to him, it is an advocacy tool for the government at all levels to increase HIV financing, especially in the light of dwindling resources from donor agencies.

In addition, he noted that despite the government’s funding of the national response, evidence showed that the HIV response in Nigeria has been donor-driven.

Aliyu maintained that over the last four years, especially during the period of the COVID-19 epidemic, Nigeria demonstrated tremendous capacity for HIV case identification at the community level.

He added that Nigeria’s HIV response was the most COVID-19-resilient globally.

Aliyu said, “As the country continues to make commendable progress towards achieving epidemic control necessary to end AIDS by 2030, we are also mindful of the fact that ending AIDS comes with the huge challenge of sustainability of the control.

“To overcome this challenge, the Government of Nigeria, the United States Government, UNAIDS and the Global Fund initiated an alignment programme aimed at ensuring country ownership and sustainability of national response beyond 2030.”

While restating the agency’s commitment to ending AIDS in the country, he added, “Nigeria can end AIDS before 2030 with the support of our community leaders. We can end stigma and discrimination, and we can ensure no babies in our communities are born with HIV; Yes, we can. We did it with Ebola, we repeated with COVID-19 and we can do it with HIV because we are Nigerians.”

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