12 March 2021 by Florence Adewale
The Joint United Nation’s Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS has pledged to strengthen collaborative efforts to further reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Mrs Winnie Byanyima made the pledge in Abuja at the inauguration of a Community Led Monitoring and National framework for people with HIV.
Mrs Byanyima who said community led monitoring was critical and instrumental in minimizing HIV infections and HIV related deaths said the synergy would enable partners to scale up efforts towards curtailing the spread of the infection in Nigeria.
The UNAIDS Director explained that “Every day in the next decades decisive action is needed to get the world back on track to end the AIDs epidemic by twenty thirty. The progress made by many needs to be shared by all communities in all countries, community led monitoring is very critical to supporting donors effort at ensuring zero new cases of the infection.”
In his remark, the Director General National Agency for the Control of Aids, NACA, Dr. Aliyu Gambo who appreciated all partners for their support urged them to see the framework as a guide towards ensuring availability, access to and delivery of quality HIV care and services in Nigeria.
Dr. Gambo said “The one basket Fund for COVID-19 in Nigeria, through which Community Led Monitoring of COVID-19 and HIV is being financed gave room for NEPWHAN being the patient community to be selected after necessary organizational checks and processes to implement the maiden Community Led Monitoring initiative in Nigeria.
On his part, the National Coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV in Nigeria, NEPWAN Mr. Abdulkadir Ibrahim said the framework was a key empowerment strategy that would boost the relevance of the Association’s role as beneficiaries of HIV services.
” It is worthy of note that the same UNAIDS who single handedly supported NEPWHAN to develop the strategic plan, is also the same partner that is supporting the implementation of the main pillars of the strategic plan; knowing fully well that the community led monitoring is best conducted and implemented by members of the community, NEPWHAN was selected for implementation of the maiden. Initiative in Nigeria. In view of funds fifteen states were selected, based on the spread and effect of COVID-19 and HIV prevalence” Abdulkadir said.
The National Coordinator, solicited for more robust support from government and well meaning partners to ensure a better free HIV drugs and other health related challenges in the society.