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Buhari moves against AIDS, HIV with N62.1b trust fund

By Chukwuma Muanya (Lagos), Terhemba Daka and Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze (Abuja)
02 February 2022   |   4:12 am
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, launched a N62.1 billion trust fund to end Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) as a public health threat and place more people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) on treatment yearly.

NHIS wades into HCPs, HMOs rift
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, launched a N62.1 billion trust fund to end Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) as a public health threat and place more people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) on treatment yearly.

At the launch of the HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria (HTFN) in Abuja, the Nigerian leader pledged the commitment of his administration to the priotisation of health interventions.

He said: “At the last United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, I made a call for a renewed global action to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa.

“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 yearly, using national resources.

“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.”

Buhari noted that Nigeria’s partnership with the private sector in the response to COVID-19 pandemic had provided a financing solution to sustain existing HIV response.

He commended the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS for their efforts in establishing fund to secure a generation of babies free of HIV.

The President, while applauding the huge attendance, observed: “Going forward, I hope the HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria will galvanise more of the private sector and other partners to surpass the target of N62 billion in the next five years.”

In his remarks, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said about $6.2 billion had been spent on HIV response in Nigeria since 2005.

“About 80 per cent of the funds were contributed by external donors, mainly the United States 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 two per cent of total funds with the rest of funds provided by the Nigerian government,” he added.

Acknowledging NACA’s efforts to promote resource mobilisation to complement existing external support, Mustapha said the Federal Government had sustained the treatment and financing of 50,000 People living with HIV (PLHIV) yearly.

He said HTFN would guarantee funding from the private sector-led resources for HIV interventions, especially for the elimination of the mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

Chief launcher and CEO of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said the mission of the private sector was to ensure mobilisation of resources towards eradication of AIDS in Nigeria, starting with the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

IN another development, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has intervened to reconcile the Health Care Providers (HCPs) and Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs).
 
At a meeting convened at the instance of the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, the parties struck a mutual understanding from saving the organisation from crisis.

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