Faces of hunger and malnutrition

Clement Danhutor

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) is stepping up efforts to ensure that the country’s leadership participates in the upcoming United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS.

The preparations, according to a joint press release, follows the official visit of the UNAIDS Executive Director and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, Michel Sidibé, to Nigeria in February. The meeting, according to the release, will take place in New York, United States, from June 8 to 10.

“NACA recognises the importance of the upcoming High Level Meeting to the global goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. My team is working hard to ensure that Nigeria contributes to preparations for the meeting and that it is represented by the highest political leadership possible during the meeting,” said the Director General of the NACA, Prof. John Idoko.

“The upcoming meeting offers a timely and critical opportunity for the political leadership in Nigeria to help nurture the global partnership and cooperation that shall guide and monitor the AIDS response up to 2021 and beyond,” Prof. Idoko said.

During his successful official visit to Nigeria in February, the UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, explained the importance of High Level Meeting to the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and appealed to the Nigerian authorities to play a leadership role in it.
He made similar appeals during meetings with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Eng. Babachir David Lawal, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the Minister Budget and Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, members of the National Assembly, the Director General of NACA, Prof Idoko, the donor community, the private sector and the civil society.

The High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS is expected to review the progress achieved in realising the implementation of the Political Declarations of 2011, including successes, lessons learned, obstacles and gaps, as well as challenges and opportunities. The meeting is also billed to adopt a new Political Declaration to guide the AIDS response until 2021.

“It has become scientifically evident that the world can defeat AIDS by 2030 and that Nigeria can lead this global success,” said the UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria and UNAIDS Focal Point for Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr. Bilali Camara.