UNAIDS lauds Nigeria’s response to HIV treatment – The Punch

Alexander Okere

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS has commended the Federal Government for the measures taken towards sustaining the HIV treatment programme in the country.

The UN and the United States Embassy of Nigeria said they acknowledged Nigeria’s commitments and recent bold actions in ending HIV/AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

In a joint statement titled ‘Nigeria’s bold steps towards national ownership and sustainability of HIV treatment programme,’ by the Advocacy Office of UNAIDS in Nigeria, the development partners’ leadership on HIV commended Nigeria for the bold steps towards national ownership and sustainability of the HIV treatment programme.

They noted that ‘this undeterred political will and commitment’ was demonstrated through the historic commitment to maintain 60,000 Nigerian PLHIV on treatment financed by the government, while making additional government resources available to put a further 50,000 on treatment annually.

They also commended the Federal Government for the re-establishment of the National Treatment and PMTCT Programme in November, 2018, to provide the framework for budget appropriation, drive harmonisation and alignment of the development partners’ HIV investments, and foster country leadership, ownership and long-term sustainability.

The development partners also said the government showed commitment in the budgetary appropriation and timely release of funds for increased coverage of life-saving antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV in Nigeria.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon, was quoted as saying the commitment of the Federal Government had increased the coverage of life-saving antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV in Nigeria, ensuring that more than 100,000 Nigerians were sustained on treatment.

Also speaking, the United States Charges d’Affaires, Ms Kathleen FitzGibbon, said, “The recent exceptional presidential waiver that allows the government to procure life-saving antiretroviral medicines, through competitive international platforms such as the Global Fund-administered WAMBO, ensures that quality drugs are procured directly from the manufacturers at pre-negotiated affordable prices.”

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