By Sola Ogundipe
The Federal government has called for sustained financial drive towards enabling Nigeria meets the goals of HIV treatment and support efforts in the country even as HIV funding in Nigeria increased from N2.5 billion in 2002 to more than N5.0 billion in 2011.
President Goodluck Jonathan who disclosed this in Abuja at the special World AIDS Day session on resourcing the National HIV response to zero-AIDS-related deaths, address to the nation said government will continue to support mainstreaming of HIV programmes in the public sector and work towards providing adequate budgetary allocations to the health sector.
The President said the Federal government recently signed a Partnership Framework with the United States Government to increase commitment to HIV financing from the current 25 percent to 50 percent in 2015, and that there was need to reflect on the collective efforts to mobilise resources for the response in Nigeria in order to achieve the objectives and targets of the 2001 Abuja Declaration, the GoN / USG Partnership Framework and the United Nations Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS in 2011.
”According to him: “Over a million people living with HIV are requiring treatment many of whom do not know their status as a result of stigmatisation. Most of those currently on treatment are being supported by donor funds. In the light of evidence that treatment does not only save lives but is a potent weapon for prevention, it is therefore important for Government to invest more on HIV treatment.”
The President observed that an estimated N700 billion is required to fund the National Strategic Plan (2010 – 2015). “In addition to the efforts of the Federal Government, HIV control Agencies have been established in more than 34 states and now draw down from budgetary allocations to enhance HIV activities in the states.
”It is the hope of government that through the decentralisation of HIV services and integration with other related diseases at the community level, 80 percent of all people living with HIV in Nigeria will have access to lifesaving treatment and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS by 2015.”