Stepping up investment in response to HIV, TB, malaria
The Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) of the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria held its 2018 retreat with call to the Federal Government to increase investment towards reducing the burden of the diseases in Nigeria.
The yearly retreat which focused on strengthening structure for strategic development towards effective performance implementation on funding plans, with the theme: “Strategic Implementation for Impact and Sustainability, “ had all representatives of affected communities constituency in the country, chaired by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole.
The minister of health said while international donor agencies are slacking in their grants, there is need for government to re-strategise and focus more on investing to sustain the response in disease burden.
He said though, Nigeria has the largest record of malaria, Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and TB in the world, it has measured success in terms of reduction, adding that it was necessary to sustain the achievement if the country must achieve total elimination, with federal government playing a huge part by increasing funding.
Adewole said though the Global Fund’s additional $660 million grant to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria would help in recording significant reduction, Nigeria still needs the government to invest to provide more opportunities for patients diagnosed of the epidemics to get prompt and quality medical attention, improve case findings and data collection.
He said: “We are doing a study to know the actual number of people infected, so with respect to treatment we have done well, with respect to malaria we have dropped from 42 per cent to 27 per cent. Where we really have to work harder is TB case finding. We suspect that maybe it is our denominator that is wrong, because the data shows that we are picking only one out of six people with TB, so we need to look at the data just as we are doing with HIV.
“Because when people are treated and you have shown quiet clearly that when you treat Africans, we even so better than whites with respect to compliance and that drops the viral load when undetectable,” he said.Also, Representative of affected communities constituency on the Country Coordinating Mechanism, Global Fund, Ibrahim Umoru noted that most countries have invested 80 per cent of their local resources, while Nigeria is yet to do so.
He said as the country is getting funds from donor agencies, government should invest more on it and strategise on how it can achieve effective and meaningful implementation to reach out to the suffering masses over there.He added: “We are encouraging Nigeria to invest into research because they have not been investing more in research and a lot of research have been taking place in South Africa and that is why we are encouraging Nigeria to look at the way of research to see how things can improve.”
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