By: Joy Odor/Abuja
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha has disclosed that the Federal Government has approved the release of the sum of N2.5 Billion for procurement of drugs and other necessities for HIV/AIDS patients and taken up the treatment burden of an additional 50,000 patients bringing the total number of patients being treated to 100,000.
Mr. Boss Mustapha who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Service Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sir Olushegun Adekunle, (Esq) at the 2019 World AIDS Day and official National Launch of the Undetectable Equals Untransmittable (U=U) Campaign in Nigeria with the Theme: “Communities Make Difference open” in Collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) also reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government in achieving the task before the year 2030.
He reiterate the commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria in achieving this task even before the year 2030, saying the effort will no doubt enable Government achieve the goal to end the epidemic in Nigeria by year 2030.
According to him, the Federal Government is confident that the campaign will help policy makers, program managers and funding agencies to further understand the dynamics of HIV in Nigeria and to be able to synergize efforts at ending the stigmatization against people living with HIV/AIDS.
The SGF pointed out that “as part of commitments by this Administration to eradicate the spread of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018 launched the Nigeria AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) which has been termed the largest HIV/AIDS survey in the world.
“It is my pleasure to be here at this official launch of “Undetectable = Untransmittable” (U=U) Campaign as part of the events in observance of the 2019 World AIDS Day in tagged “Ending AIDS Nigeria by 2030: Achieving the last mile”.
“The National Agency for the Control of AIDS today joins the rest of the world to launch the U=U campaign, which seeks to promote the value of HIV treatment and prevention of sexual transmission of HIV. This is predicated on evidence based confirmation that taking HIV medication daily as directed is essential to achieving and maintaining an undetectable viral load that guarantees healthy living by people living with HIV. This also prevents sexual transmission of the virus to an HIV negative partner.
“The goal of the U=U international campaign is to raise awareness about this aspect of HIV treatment called Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) which promotes early treatment as prevention for some of the ways the virus can be transmitted and to reduce the stigma felt by people living with HIV.
“Nigeria has made progress over the years in generating quality data that robustly inform policy planning and implementation of evidence-based measures in our unwavering pursuit to control and end the HIV epidemic in our country” SGF Stressed.