Ahead of the forthcoming HIV/AIDS conference taking place in Washington DC, United States of America, next month, HIV advocates in Nigeria have threatened to stage a ‘Keep the Promise’ march at the event to demand for increased funding for HIV/AIDS activities in Africa.
The consensus reached is coming at a time Global fund for HIV/AIDS and the United States’ Presidents Emergency Programme for AIDS (PEPFAR) is being under- funded.
Making the disclosure in their call to action, last weekend in Abuja, the Country Programme Manager, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).Dr Olawole Salami, affirmed that countries with large- scale economies and the G-20 must pay their fair share in fully financing the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
According to him, the cost of HIVAIDS must be contained at less than $300 per patient per year in resource poor countries while a greater percentage of global AIDS funding must be spent on treatment in order to treat more people with available resources.
While advocating for increased resources by all tiers of government in the country, the country programme manager said they should see HIV as a priority, as an economic problem besides health.
In his remarks, the Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof John Idoko, said that health systems strengthening at the community and primary health care level is one of the way forward.
Idoko who was represented by Mrs Josephine Kalu in the agency, said that he wants to see Nigeria funding 50-60 per cent of funding for treatment in the next five years.
The director for Advocacy, Marketing and Public Relations, AHF, Dr Mina Nakawuka noted that after 30 years of HIV/AIDS, external funding is going down, saying, “we need policy makers and development of more innovative ways to increase funding in Nigeria.