By Asma’u Ahmad
The Federal Government on Wednesday said that the ongoing HIV survey result would change the HIV landscape in Nigeria.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said this at the 4th annual Nigeria Implementation Science Alliance (NISA) conference in Abuja.
Adewole, who was represented by the Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Sani Aliyu, expressed optimism that the HIV narratives would change for the better.
The minister who noted the theme of the conference as evidence based approaches to enhance quality of care, added that NISA was aimed at promoting research in Nigeria.
He said that government plan to domesticate HIV response and ensure it would be delivered primarily for Nigerians.
“Secondly, government would improve quality of care of patients and create a sustainable programme,’’ he said.
Prof. Echezona Ezeanolue, the Vice President, Innovation Healthysunrise Foundation, USA, said that researchers were working hard to proffer solutions to help combat infectious diseases and make the health system better.
Ezeanolue highlighted the main objectives of the conference as to foster dissemination of research work, implementation and to effect change in policy, review challenges and identify new strategies in implementation science.
He said that NISA majors in solving problems and one of the problems the conference was looking at solving was finding a solution to the 36,000 children born with HIV in the country.
“We already know the problems and what can help solve the problems; we are spending close to a 100 million dollars for a national survey.
“What we thought was missing was a forum, when the researchers start their work, they can easily find researchers in Nigeria to work with because we have well trained people in Nigeria.
“At the end of the survey, people will have access to the result and be able to use it to advance the health system. “’We do not just attract funds to Nigeria, we work with the federal government to bring expertise from the civil service to work together,’’ he said.
The Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN), Dr Patrick Dakum, said that although there were great improvements in the health system, the country still has a long way to go.
Dakum, who noted that there were over 30 laboratories for HIV testing in the country, underscored the need to build stronger and well equipped laboratories.