The Vice – President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has reaffirmed the commitment of Federal Government towards supporting the implementation of effective HIV control interventions in Nigeria.
The Vice – President, who was represented by the Hon. Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, made this known at the Public Presentation of a book titled: TURNING THE TIDE: AIDS IN NIGERIA, held in Abuja recently.
Prof. Osinbajo noted that FG would invest resources in strengthening our Health Care System and increase access of citizens to Health Insurance.
He further said that ‘’ our economic policies and empowerment interventions will also play a role in improving the standard of living of all citizens, including people living with or affected by HIV’’
The Vice- President stressed that ‘’ this book couldn’t have come at a better time with recent presentation of the NAILS results by his Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.
He pointed out that ‘’ the Tide has indeed tuned and we have evidence that Nigeria is on the right track towards the achievement of National and Global targets’’.
He warned that ‘’ this is not the time to rest on our oars. In fact more than ever before we need to harness all the required resources , use NAILS Data to fine tune our strategies and work together in a coordinated manner to ensure that we identify the remaining 800,000 people who are infected and ensure that they commence life- saving antiretroviral therapy’’, he added.
He informed that ‘’ the reduction in the HIV prevalence in Nigeria recorded by NAILS is a justification of the various work documented in this book’’
He commended the work done by the APIN, for launching the book which was an excellent resource material that would be used by researchers, clinicians, sociologists and public health workers.
In his remarks, the Hon. Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said that ‘’ as part of our strategies for achieving the goal of ending AIDS by 2030, the National Treatment and Preventions of Mother- to- Child Transmission Programme (NTPP), was reestablished in 2018 to harmonize HIV treatment and ensure integration’’
He added ‘’ The achievements recorded in the country with respect to treatment and prevention targets will not be complete without acknowledging the immense contribution of Professor Phyllis Kanki and the APIN Public Health Initiative (formerly known as the AIDS Prevention initiatives in Nigeria) which started work in country in 2001 through a Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health grant funded by Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation’’
In his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), APIN, Dr. Prosper Okonkwo, said that the book documents progress made over the last decade by all players in the national response towards epidemic control of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
He further said that the organization served as program support unit for saving one million lives (SOML), projects in the 5 Eastern and Benue States as well as the Independent Verification Agent (IVA) on the World Bank/NPHCDA National State Health Investment programs (NSHIP) in Gombe, Bauchi and Taraba States.
Mrs. Boade Akinola
Director, Media &Public Relations