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HIV/AIDS: Over one million PLHIVs currently under treatment – FG

…Reaffirms resolve to achieve 90-90-90 targets by 2020
The Federal Government has said that about 1,066,223 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIVs) including 54,167 children have currently been placed on treatment with support from donors, development partners and the Government of Nigeria (GoN).

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who stated this, also revealed that the Federal Government through the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) is currently providing treatment services to about 60,000 PLHIV in Abia and Taraba states.

Prof. Adewole made the revelation during the National stakeholders meeting on the implementation of the one year roadmap of of the National Treatment and Prevention from Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) in Abuja on Tuesday.

While reaffirming the Federal Government resolve to achieve the ambitious treatment target to help end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2020 (90-90-90 targets), the Minister said that the programme is already up and running in 8 states termed with the highest burden of the epidemic.

He listed the states to include Abia, Taraba, Benue, Cross River, Nasarawa, Lagos, Kaduna and FCT.

“Presently almost all the states mentioned above are implementing Fast-tract 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.

“May I also inform you that the Federal Government is determined to ensure that this programme is successfully implemented. In the spirit of collaboration, DG NACA seconded some officers from NACA to support NASCP for the implementation of the One year road map.

Our Partners have also sent four Technical Assistants who are currently working with NASCP. The Technical Assistants (TAs) are expected to hold meeting with states on how to drive the NTPP forward.

“The development agencies are supporting the programme to set up very conducive work environment through the provision of infrastructure including vehicles.

I wish to inform you that the Technical Assistants since their arrival have been working tirelessly. They have held series of meetings and developed activities that will be implemented in each quarter of the year.

“Let me assure you that as we implement the roadmap, we are also actualising the planned health sector response which is reflected in the Nigeria National Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS: 2017-2021 (NSF 2017-2021) and the Fast-Track or Catch-Up plan launched in 2016.

I wish to urge all the seven states mentioned earlier to intensify effort and ensure reduction in prevalence so that Nigeria can meet up with the Global target. We hope to scale up to include other states,” Adewole added.

Commending efforts of stakeholders especially NACA, other Partners and Development Agencies for their continuous support for the fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria,

he added that the Federal Government is harnessing private sector to ensure that clients receive free services through the provision of adequate antiretroviral drugs, drugs for opportunistic infections, test kits, diagnostic equipment, laboratory reagent and consumables.

Earlier, Dr. Mohammed Fall, representative of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), commended Federal Government effort to reduce the transmission of the disease from Mother to Child.

He added that in spite of the effort, there is still more needed to be done, adding that UNICEF will not relent in its support.

On his part, the World Heath Organisation (WHO), represented by Dr. Wondi Alemu, stressed the need for all to come together to ensure that the health sector is revived. He added that the WHO team is on ground to provide the required support.

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