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Nigeria committed to end AIDS by 2030 – UNAIDS

by Muhammad Sani

By Asma’u Ahmad

The United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS) said National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has shown that Nigeria is committed to end the Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic by 2030.

UNAIDS National Information Officer, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun stated this in a statement issued to newsmen in Abuja.

The statement said one of such efforts by Nigeria aimed at ending the scourge was to ensure its full participation at the upcoming UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS.

The UN official said the meeting would take place in New York from June 8 to 10.

He said Nigeria’s preparedness was further enhanced by the official visit of the UNAIDS Executive Director and Under Secretary-General of the UN, Michel Sidibé, to the country recently.

The statement quoted the acting Director-General of NACA, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, saying the agency is working hard to ensure that Nigeria recognised the importance of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

He said: “NACA recognises the importance of the upcoming High Level Meeting to the global goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. My team is working hard to ensure that Nigeria contributes to preparations for the meeting and that it is represented by the highest political leadership possible during the meeting.

“The upcoming meeting offers a timely and critical opportunity for the political leadership in Nigeria to help nurture the global partnershipand cooperation that shall guide and monitor the AIDS response up to 2021 and beyond.”

Mr. Sidibé explained during his visit to Nigeria that the importance of the meeting to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

The UN official appealed to the Federal Government to play a leadership role in the forthcoming meeting.

UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria and Focal Point for ECOWAS, Dr Bilali Camara, said the world could defeat AIDS by 2030, saying it has become scientifically evident that the world can defeat AIDS by 2030 and that Nigeria can lead this global success.

The High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS would review the progress achieved in realising the implementation of the Political Declarationsof 2011.

It would also review the successes, lessons learned, obstacles and gaps, as well as challenges and opportunities.

The meeting would adopt a new Political Declaration to guide the AIDS response until 2021.

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