Nigeria needs N236.4 billion to battle disease

It was revealed that foreign donors provide 50% of the funds required for the treatment programme, while Nigeria provides 25 per cent of the funds required.

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It has been revealed that Nigeria needs  $1.2bn (N236.4 billion) for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in the country.

This was made known by the Country Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Dr Bilali Camara in Abuja during the training workshop on the ambitious 90-90-90 treatment target organised by UNAIDS in collaboration with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).

According to The Guardian, Camara said the foreign donors provide 600,000 US dollars (N118.2 million), which represent 50% of the funds required for the treatment programme, while Nigeria provides 25 per cent of the funds required.

Thus, the fund provided by Nigerian government is grossly inadequate to close the treatment gap in the country.

He further said that Nigeria needs more domestic funding to effectively tackle HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country, adding that the government had not shown enough commitment in the area of resource allocation to fight the disease.

Camara explained that the workshop was organised to sensitise health correspondents and other stakeholders on the target, which aims at fast tracking the HIV response.

In addition to 90% of people living with HIV knowing their status by year 2020, Camara added that 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90%of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral load suppression.

The National Coordinator of the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPHWAN), Mr Edward Ogenyi also speaking at the event said when people living with HIV understand the 90-90-90 target and drives the process it will send the message down to the communities.

The 90-90-90 treatment target was launched at a high-level political session of the 20th International AIDS Conference held in July 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.

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