By Zayamu Hassan
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has called on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), corporate bodies and well-meaning Nigerians to support the agency in the area of funding to enable it halt the spread of HIV in Nigeria.
The Director General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu, made the call at the scientific session to commemorate the 2021 World AIDS Day in Abuja.
The scientific session is with the theme: Epidemic Control and Sustainable HIV financing in Nigeria in the face of COVID-19.
He stressed that HIV can only end if there is increased funding from non governmental actors from all parts of the world.
Dr Aliyu also called for support to enable NACA conduct another survey to ascertain the progress so far made in the fight against HIV in the country.
“There are money bags around, why don’t we bring them along to support in the supply of logistics, HIV test kits and drugs. There is a lot of work to do in the fight against HIV but we will soon get there,” he said.
The NACA Director-General, however, applauded international organisations and other global partners for their support in the past 40 years.
He noted that his agency is making efforts towards identifying those who have the virus, provide services to them as well as give opportunity for regular testing.
Speaking on the survey, Dr Aliyu said that his agency is preparing to conduct another survey at the end of next year to ascertain the progress so far achieved in an effort to halt the spread of HIV in the country.
He, however, said that surveys are capital intensive, hence, his agency is soliciting for funding support from corporate bodies, non governmental organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to get the survey done.
He said that the last survey that was done in 2018 is due for another one next year.
It would be recalled that the 2018 Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) was released in 2019.
The NAIIS survey is a cross-sectional survey that assessed the prevalence of key human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related health indicators.
Speaking earlier, the Director, National AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections Control Programme (NASTICP), Dr Akudo Ikpeazu, lamented inadequate services for the Prevention of Mother to Child transmission in the country.
Efforts, according to her, are being made to ensure that women are reached with Prevention of Mother to Child transmission (PTMTCT) services in all parts of the country.
She advocated the need for proper record and data of pregnant women who have tested positive, stressing: “we need to test all pregnant women who are positive and there is need for data.”