by MARCUS FATUNMOLE on Nov 21, 2013 | No comments Posted under: Uncategorized
The federal and states governments yesterday met to work out modalities for raising N262.7 billion e for managing HIV/AIDS in the country within the next two years.
The meeting, an Agenda for Sensitization Meeting with States on the President’s Comprehensive Response Plan (PCRP) for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, is intended to raise funds locally for the management of the scourge, thereby bridging the gap between locally-sourced funds and foreign-donor funds for the disease, which currently stand at 25 and 75 percent respectively.
Federal Government suggested N461.2 billion for full national coverage against the disease at the meeting, while it said N262.7 billion should be initially sourced for managing it in the next two years. States are therefore required to contribute N105.3 bn while N20.5 billion is expected from the private sector.
Speaking at the event, Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Prof John Idoko, represented by Director, Partnership Coordination at the agency, Hajia Maimuna Mohammed, said the initiate was in pursuance of the realisation of President Jonathan’s decision to put a check on the spread of the disease.
Mrs. Mohammed said in an interview with reporters: “How are we going to tackle the issue of HIV/ AIDS in this country? As we roll out the intervention day in day out, we are facing challenges of funding. Most of our funding comes from partners; and this is not sustainable for a country where we have people that are living with the virus that are going to be on drugs for the rest of their lives. If you don’t have a plan in place, there will be a situation where these partners will decide to pull out of this country; it will be a disaster for us.
“So, the President deemed it right to call all stakeholders where he suggested we develop a plan that is owned by us which we can resource at national, state and local government levels. We came out with this plan; it is supposed to be for two years. Now, we have invited states that we should all look at the plan. It is not a plan that is going to be implemented by NACA and it is not going to be implemented at the national level alone; it is going to be implemented at the state and local government levels where people live.
You are not coming with your own plan to say we are going to do this or that. We already have our own plan reach one million people. How many can you take out of one million? If you say a 100000, we give you a 100000. So, you are not coming with you own agenda to tell us what to do. We have that goal; work with the plan or you don’t come in”.
In a presentation, Director, Policy and Strategy Department, NACA, Mr Alex Ogundipe, said 80 percent of current 3.4million people living with the disease were being targeted for treatment with the fund. He listed the objectives of the new plan to include among others: “Only 18 percent of HIV positive pregnant women receive prophylaxis against mother and child transmission, we target 80 percent; To avail 80 million men & women aged 15 & older knowledge of their HIV status; to enroll an additional 600,000 eligible adults & children on ART.”