The Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed optimism that it will “completely wipe out” HIV/AIDS pandemic from the country by 2030.
To achieve this target, the government intends to adopt the World Health Organisation’s strategy of ‘test and treat’ and President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive on production of HIV/AIDS drugs and related commodities.
The Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Prof. John Idoko, according to a statement issued on Friday by the agency’s Chief Communications Officer, Mrs. Toyin Aderibigbe, stated this at the just-concluded 70th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly.
The programme was themed, “Ensuring an AIDS-free generation by 2030: Strengthening the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals as a strategic imperative for success.”
The event also witnessed the presentation of MDGs Country Report, which will serve as a vital link between Nigeria’s MDGs era and the MDGs successor framework, providing milestones against which to benchmark progress as Nigeria adopts the SDGs.
Idoko said, “Nigeria has made significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the last decade. We have achieved the MDG 6 of halting and reversing the HIV epidemic and we are committed to sustaining the momentum in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve an AIDS – free generation by 2030. In support of this, the country will use the strategy of adopting the new WHO guidelines of ‘test and treat’, and the President has identified the local production of HIV/AIDS drugs and related commodities as a key strategy to actualized an AIDS-free generation by 2030.”
The Country Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, explained how NACA and UNAIDS used Pampaida village in Kaduna State as a model for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Nigeria.
“This village achieved the total elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in 2015. Nigeria could lead the way in efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” he said.
Sidibe also recommended that Nigeria, with the support of UNAIDS and other development partners, should expand the Kaduna model to all 12+1 high burden states of Nigeria where 70 per cent of all HIV positive pregnant women and new HIV infections exist.
The Secretary of Programmes, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Mr. Ochapa Ogenyi, said Nigeria remained steadfast in dedicating the entirety of the Debt Relief Gains negotiated more than a decade ago to serve as additional resources to bridge funding gaps for pro-poor interventions.