Federal Government vows to combat HIV and AIDS in 2018.
The Federal Government says it would support the fight against HIV and AIDS programmes through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in 2018.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, stated this on Monday, at the opening of a two-day Nigeria HIV and AIDS intervention symposium in Abuja.
The minister said that an estimated 3.2 million people live with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria, adding that no fewer than one million Nigerians presently had means to anti-retroviral treatment but access to care by those in need remained a challenge.
Naija News gathered that stakeholders across the country were present at the symposium which featured discussion on challenges and way forward for preventive strategies on HIV and AIDS.
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Adewole lamented the prevalence of the epidemic in the country and the world at large, advising the participants to imbibe sustainable HIV and AIDS control programmes as well as increase health care service delivery services to achieve meaningful growth.
He also called for proper data management on the number of persons with HIV to encourage strategic planning, realisation of fights against the epidemic and also reduce gaps in the national health sector response.
According to him, the UNAIDS 2016 report had revealed that 36.7 people live with HIV and AIDS globally, adding that out of every 10 HIV positive persons in the world is a Nigerian.
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Adewole said; “President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is poised to reverse this ugly trend by making prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection one of the signatory projects in the health sector.
“I am making this pledge that the Nigerian leadership is committed to supporting all interventions that will ensure sustainable reduction of new HIV and AIDS infections in Nigeria.
“Nigerian’s HIV and AIDS response plan has equally benefitted from increased government funding.
“Furthermore, an additional one billion naira has been approved by the National Assembly through National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to support the HIV and AIDS programme in the country.”