FG committed to ending HIV/AIDS transmission by 2024 — NACA
Dr Gambo Aliyu, the Director-General of National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA), says Federal Government is working assiduously and hopeful to end HIV/AIDS transmission by 2024.
He said this while declaring open a five-day Capacity Strengthening of Key and Vulnerable Populations in Access to HIV Services Efficiency” on Monday in Sokoto.
He said “Nigeria is working toward ending the transmission of HIV/AIDS in the next three years, which is 2024, less than the targeted year of 2030 by the UN.”
Aliyu noted that Nigeria had recorded great successes and ranked among the five countries with minimum challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that the fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria had been recognised by the UN “and directed other nations to emulate our strides based on efforts on ending the transmission target slated for 2030.
“However, it can be achieved in the next three years.
“The target entails identifying 95 per cent of people living with HIV/AIDS; ensure access to Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs to 95 per cent patients and suppressing the virus in 95 per cent of the patients so that they cannot transmit it to others.
“We will do everything to achieve this target in the next two to three years, not in the next 10 years as stipulated by UN.”
According to him, the country has identified 279,000 patients between September 2019 and September 2020, which is the highest in the history of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
He noted that so far, 1.2 million people living with the condition were identified and put on drugs therapy across the country.
The NACA boss explained that the training was necessitated by dwindling resources for the fight against the virus because most of the interventions by the developed countries had ceased.
“So, we want to develop the people’s capacity on resource mobilisation and utilisation so that they can continue to live their normal lives,” he said.
Earlier, the Sokoto State Commissioner for Health, Dr Ali Inname, said there were over 8,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the state.
Inname explained that the state government would continue to support them by providing them with drugs. He advised them to get enrolled into the state Contributory Health Scheme.
Malam Abdulkadir Ibrahim, the National Coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), said the network had conducted a survey which informed it about the status of the epidemic.He explained that “people are well informed now about how they can manage the condition to avoid transmitting it to others.”
The programme facilitator, Mr Umar Jimeta, from Society for Women Development and Empowerment Initiative, said participants would be subjected to all forms of capacity building training to prepare them for socio-economic and health awareness challenges in their respective settlements.
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