The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Muhammed Pate, has highlighted the federal government’s commitment to advancing HIV response in Nigeria.
He said this at a performance review meeting hosted by the U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Abuja on Wednesday.
The third biannual performance review and stakeholder engagement meeting is to share experiences, successes, and lessons with funders and other CDC/PEPFAR implementing partners in Nigeria.
Represented by Anyaike Chukwuma, the Director of Public Health at the ministry, Mr Pate emphasised the progress made in combating HIV. He acknowledged the crucial support the U.S. CDC and government provided.
He outlined the achievements, challenges, and plans in the fight against HIV, underscoring the importance of sustainable financing, improved governance, and enhanced healthcare outcomes.
He said: “Over the past three decades, Nigeria has made significant strides in advancing its position in the global response to HIV.
“The country has achieved remarkable success in expanding the delivery of HIV testing, treatment, and care services, with the impressive accomplishment of meeting the UNAIDS 95.95.95 cascade targets by the end of 2022.
“While celebrating these achievements, we emphasise the need to address gaps in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and ART coverage among the paediatric population.”
He added that the government’s four-point agenda and its collaborative efforts with stakeholders were to ensure a resilient and sustainable healthcare system in the country.
While celebrating these achievements, we emphasise the need to address gaps in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and ART coverage among the paediatric population.
He explained that the Ministry of Health and development partners prioritised interventions such as the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) and the National Health Insurance Act to ensure sustainable health financing.
He said the rebranding of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) was to strengthen the healthcare system.
The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, David Greene, said the country’s efforts had grown as it inched closer to reaching the UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals.
Mr Greene said that the operation of key population-led one-stop shops that provided safe space for comprehensive care empowered communities and saved lives.
“In April, I visited the hub in Lagos and was impressed by the spirit and skills of the students and staff there,” Mr Greene stated.
He said introducing and implementing an integrated health service delivery platform was a novel idea with huge potential.
Gambo Aliyu, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), said the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) made a significant impact by reaching both urban and rural areas, addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic on a broad scale. (NAN)