HIV: Only 27% Nigerians Get Treatment from FG Funds, Says IHVN Boss

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By Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Human Virology , Nigeria , Dr. Patrick Dakum, has disclosed that of all the funds from the federal government which are dedicated to the treatment and prevention of HIV, only about 27 per cent of Nigerians are beneficiaries of the gesture.

Dakum who revealed this in Abuja during the third annual conference of Nigeria Implementation Science Alliance (NISA), said there was the need for ownership and not just about the programme but financial ownership as well.

While emphasising that putting money into HIV as well as its treatment and prevention is not an expense but an investment, he said the ball should be in the court of the National Assembly which is expected to see the need as an emergency and appropriate funds that are required to change the figures and percentage to a favourable statistics.

He said: “From date, we have so far, just 27 per cent of Nigerians getting their treatment from funds coming from the Nigerian Government and this is far from what we really want. What we want is a complete ownership. When we say ownership, we are not just talking about ownership of the programme but financial ownership as well.

“This means we should put our money where our hearts are. Putting money in HIV treatment and prevention is an investment and not an expense because when these people are alive, they will contribute to the economy.

“So the ball should be in the court of the National Assembly and a rational and responsible National Assembly will look at this as an emergency and will do the needful by appropriating the funds that are required to take over the management, from at least 27 per cent to at least 60-70 per cent and then we move on from there.

“Remember that we are not just talking about the National Assembly but also about the State House Assembly and local government but funding must come from the three tiers of government including the communities as well,” he said.‎
Concerning the conference and what Nigeria hopes to benefit from it, assistant professor from the University of Maryland , USA , Dr. Michael Obiefune stated that several researches are on-going with ideas being shared on how to effectively handle the health sector.

“We started at looking at prevention from mother-to-child transmission about three years ago and to answer a simple question; why is it that a proven scientific method of preventing a mother-to-child transmission is not available all over the country and science behind it showed a lot of structural issues and the cause capacity issues that are being tackled.”
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who was also at the programme, said for budgeting to take place, there was the need for up to date data. He said, “There’s no need screening a patient when he cannot be treated simply because of lack of funds as a result of lack of data.”

Boska Marks Pain Free Day with Ipaja Residents
Major Pain killer Company, Dexa Medica, makers of Boska has marked another wave of its Pain Free Day Initiative at the Ipaja market in Lagos recently.
The event was attended by hundreds of market users and residents from communities of Ipaja market, who were trained on health tips to stay strong during the rainy season.

According to the Senior Brand Executive, Dexa Medica, Tunde Ojedokun, over 70 per cent of Nigerians often catch the flu during rainy season resulting in body breakdown if not attended to.

´´Boska team provided the opportunity for consumers to see health experts who provided full range of health services for free. They provided free eye glasses for those in need as well as prescribed drugs to treat eye, ear and nose defects.

Besides rendering free health services, we leveraged the opportunity to educate consumers on how to live stress-free while at their various duties.
“This Pain Free Day edition is specially designed to keep consumers fit given the rainy season. I am confident that Dexa Medica will continue to improve the delivery of quality health care for consumers in the months ahead,´´ he said.