AIDS survey committee inaugurated
Committee members to spearhead the National Population Based AIDS Indicator Survey (NPAIS) have been inaugurated by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole on Monday, March 27, 2017.
The inauguration, which was held in Abuja, has among the Steering Committee members, key stakeholders who will be saddled with the responsibility to effectively manage Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) Survey and ensure that objectives are met.
Director General (DG) of the National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Sani Aliyu, stressed that in “our quest to end AIDS, if there is no accurate collection of data then there are no targets; no plans and sourcing of funds become ineffective.”
Aliyu noted that without absolute data on HIV, it will be difficult to record the success made so far as a country in the fight to end AIDS by 2030. Speaking further, the DG NACA said there is an urgent need to fill the data gap, which will guide programming for the United Nations ambitious 90-90-90 strategy. It is understood that the NPAIS will be a cross sectional, representative, population based survey of adults and children from birth and upwards, to inform the HIV response in Nigeria.
In their separate good will messages, the Country Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS), Dr. Bilali Camara said that NPAIS symbolizes hope and commitment that will change the picture on where Nigeria is in the fight against AIDS; while the Managing Director, Society for Family Health (SFH), Dr. Bright Ekwerenmadu called on Nigeria and relevant stakeholders to take charge of the response by having a coordinated approach in data collection.
While inaugurating the committee members, the Chairman of the Steering Committee and Minister of Health, who was represented by Dr. Nenna Ezekwe said that Nigeria’s epidemic status is overdue for a review in the light of concerns with the prevalence rate, the recent positivity rates and programmatic data in the country.