President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, launched the HIV/AIDS trust fund of Nigeria (HTFN).
The trust fund is championed by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and is driven by the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCAA).
Speaking while launching the fund, Buhari said ending HIV/AIDS is a family health right and the government will continue to ensure the spread of the disease is curbed.
“Ending AIDS as a public health threat in Nigeria will require increased domestic funding. We have continued to make good our commitment of placing more people living with HIV on treatment annually using national resources,” he said.
However, strong domestic resource mobilisation with an enduring partnership and shared responsibility is required to sustain the response to HIV and other emerging public health emergencies.”
Commending NACA and the NiBUCAA, Buhari said the HTFN will secure the future of several generations to come.
“Going forward, I hope the HTFN will galvanise partners towards the goal of eliminating HIV transmission in the next five years,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, said today marks a key step towards ensuring that no Nigerian child is born with HIV or contracts the disease all through his life.
Mustapha said the fund also signifies the commitment of the Buhari’s administration to ensuring that no one dies from HIV infection.
“Since 2005, about $6.2 billion has been spent on HIV response in Nigeria, about 80 percent of these funds were contributed by external donorsmainly the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Private Sector contributed 0.1 per cent to 2 per cent of total funds with the rest of funds provided by the Nigerian government,” he said.
On his part, the NACA DG said within the last three years, 900,000 people living with HIV in Nigeria have been placed on treatment, bringing the total number of HIV infected Nigerians in treatment to 1.7m.
“This unprecedented feat puts Nigeria on a fast track lane to control HIV spread by the year 2023 — earlier than the global target,” he said.
Notable personalities at the event include Osagie Ehanire, minister of health; Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture; Aliko Dangote, chairman of Dangote group; and Ibrahim Gambari, chief of staff to the president.
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