By Patience Ivie Ihejirika, Abuja
Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Sani Aliyu, has said that the country currently has about three million people at estimate, requiring HIV treatment at about N50, 000 per patient in a year.
This, he said translates into about N150billion naira which is more than 60 percent of the 2017 Federal Ministry of Health budget.
He therefore stressed the need for increased budgetary Allocation to the health sector generally while reiterating government commitment to sustainable ownership of HIV response.
“It is not only to try and increase the budgetary allocation to HIV but to try and increase overall federal ministry of health budget because a federal budget cannot devote 60 percent of its budget towards a single disease control condition.
“We have realized this, the government is already committed, we are looking at various initiatives of which one of the primary ones will be the introduction of universal healthcare and the move towards putting 1percent of the consolidated revenue fund towards health, which will be a statutory allocation,” he stated.
Aliyu however regretted that the prevention of mother to child transition programme is not part of the basic health care provision, he assured that the agency will work closely with the health ministry and other agencies of government to ensure that it is included within the basic healthcare provision.
According to him, “Nigeria has the largest number of babies being born with HIV in the world. This is what we will not allow to continue, the federal government through the Minister of Health has already declared 2018 as a priority for eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV. We intend to take it up and ensure that no Nigeria child is born with HIV.”