Kuni Tyessi, Abuja
In its quest to end or bring to its barest minimum the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus come the year 2030, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has pledged that most donations coming to the Agency will be channelled to states that have developed innovative approaches towards ending the scourge.
Also, the Agency will encourage state governments to pay counterpart funds before the grants will be released and are expected to develop sustainable road maps for their HIV treatment programme.
The director general of NACA, Dr Sani Aliyu who disclosed this yesterday at the third National Council on AIDS with the theme: “HIV/AIDS in Nigeria; Taking Charge of Our Destiny” said the Agency in the next 18- 24 months will. Diagnose as many as possible and put them on treatment as well as talking to partners and. Ensuring a collective approach.
He said with dwindling resources from external donors and the UNAIDS target of 90:90:90 by the year 2030, federal and especially, state governments will have to take over in the sponsorship programme as already, Nigeria has achieved a lot in terms of coverage.
“Most donations coming to NACA will. Be channelled towards the states. NACA will encourage state governments to pay small amounts in order to be able to have access to grants from other donor agencies. States should develop sustainable roadmaps for their HIV treatment programme and the programmes must include innovative approaches.”
In thesame vein, the national president of the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), Mr. Victor Olaore has called for the establishment of a national trust fund for the treatment of persons living with the Virus as well as its eradication.
Olaore who also spoke during the programme said statutory allowance cannot be depended upon if the set target is to be reached and also called on the council to put the needs and welfare of the patients at the middle of its deliberations.
“In calling for the establishment of HIV/AIDS Trust Fund as we don’t have to wait for statutory allowance yearly. The country is blessed and we can do that.”
“National Trust Fund in the UK is doing well. As well as other African countries. They can also generate funds for themselves and it’s a response that money can be. Invested in. Whatever the government will be giving should be a supplement and support. The thoughts and resolution of the council should put the patients in the centre.”