Estimate of 1.6m Nigerians Already on HIV Treatment, says Health minister
Hon.Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole made this know while making his keynote address during the “Official launching of one year road map for the implementation of national treatment & PMCTC programme” in Abuja yesterday.
ONE million, sixty-six thousand, two hundred and twenty-three (1,066,223) people living with human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in Nigeria have been placed on treatment, it was learnt yesterday.
The figure, according to the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, includes 54,167 children.
He noted that the government is providing treatment services to about 60,000 people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Abia and Taraba states.
Three million and two hundred people are estimated to be living with HIV/ AIDS in the country.
The minister spoke yesterday in Abuja at the national stakeholders’ consensus meeting on the implementation of the one year roadmap of the National Treatment PMTCT Programme (NTPP).
He said: “I inform you that since the beginning of the National HIV response about 1,066,223 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIVs), including 54,167 children (FMOH Dec 2017) have been placed on treatment with support from donors, development partners and Nigeria. Nigeria, through NACA, is currently providing treatment services to about 60,000 PLHIV in Abia and Taraba states.”
Adewole, therefore, challenged the private sector, corporate organisations, multinational organisations and independent bodies to invest in HIV management and contribute toward a sustainable healthcare delivery.
“As you all know, HIV is a condition that challenges us all. The cost of HIV management, including procurement of commodities, training programmes and strengthening of infrastructure is enormous, especially now that donor support is dwindling globally.
“The ability to provide cost-effective and performance-based intervention is a key strategy for a more efficient HIV/AIDS service delivery at all levels in the country,” he stated.
Adewole harped on the need for the country to take more responsibility in HIV response programme, if the citizens are to actualise the global year 2020 target of reaching 90% of people living with the disease.
“As the global community moves towards year 2020 end game for reaching the 90-90-90 targets, it has become imperative that Nigeria takes on more responsibilities in its HIV response, particularly in her efforts to increase ownership, ensure sustainability of the HIV response and consolidate the gains of all her previous initiatives.”
He explained that based on this, Nigeria “with support from her partners developed a one year roadmap to galvanise the country’s HIV treatment efforts towards achieving the 90-90-90 targets by 2020 with clear government leadership and ownership as well as a focus on increasing the number of PLHIV on treatment”.
“The programme is already up and running in 7+1 states which is termed the high burden states. The states are Abia, Taraba, Benue, Cross River, Nasarawa, Lagos, Kaduna and FCT. Presently, almost all the states mentioned above are implementing Fast-track Initiative, which covers the TEST and TREAT strategy. In order for us to achieve the mandate of NTPP programme, additional 50,000 new patients must to be placed on treatment yearly in line with the 90-90-90 Global Target,” he added.
The minister also announced that the Federal Government is determined to ensure that the programme is successfully implemented.