Isaac Adewole has called for increased collaboration by stakeholders in the health sector to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Adewole made the call at the 2nd Annual Implementation Science Conference organised by Nigeria Implementation Science Alliance (NISA) on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that the attainment of UHC through effective primary health care system would help in the delivery of quality health services to the people.
The minister added that the national plan for the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (eMTCT) of HIV and the proposed new treatment target was through the 90, 90, 90 approach.
He explained that the approach was that 90 per cent of people living with HIV know their status, 90 per cent of all who were eligible receive anti-retroviral therapy, 90 per cent of people on anti-retroviral therapy achieve durable viral suppression.
He said “the objective is to have 50 per cent of adolescent and young people have access to prevention interventions and 20 per cent of all HIV positive women have access to contraceptives.
“The target is to treat 853,992 people living with HIV and provide care to 990,918 people living with HIV, and to add more than 1.8 million on HIV treatment, using Test and Treat approach.”
Prof. Echezona Ezeanolue, a professor of Peadiatrics and Public Health University, Nevada, Las Vegas, also the NISA conference convener, said
that Nigeria had the second largest number of people living with HIV.
Ezeanolue said that NISA, an affiliation of major programmes in Nigeria, “uses implementation science to find solution to health problems faced in Nigeria.”
He added that the main objective of the conference was to allow implementation science investigators to share new evidence with stakeholders, policy makers, including state and federal agencies.
According to him, the conference will provide forum for researchers and policy makers to review challenges and identify new strategies to address HIV and AIDS related infections in Nigeria.
“We have to use data to shape the future of HIV service delivery in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Ezeanolue said that NISA recently got a five-year funding for a research project on adolescents.
“This fund will help researchers to come up with solution on how to transit children living with HIV as they grow older.
“ During this research, we will find out the best time and age that is good enough to tell a child he or she has HIV.
“And if it comes out very well, we will then use it to make policy and we will have a national guideline for transition.”
Mr Prosper Okonkwo, the Chief Executive Officer, AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria, said the alliance was a stepping stone to researchers to build and authenticate their skills.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that stakeholders in the health sector attended the conference.