…as World Bank withdraws partnership
By Toba Adedeji, Osogbo
The Federal Government of Nigeria has urged states across the country to fund treatments of over 800,000 HIV/AIDS patients in their respective states.
FG through the National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) revealed that one of the key partners of the project, World Bank withdrew its funding support.
The Southwest Coordinator, Mr. Raheem Muhammed, during a stakeholder meeting held at the conference room of Osun State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (O-SACA) in Osogbo, capital of Osun, said that state across the country must increase the funding of treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Muhammed explained, “We want our people to have functional knowledge of HIV/AIDS and provide care and support to individuals, families and communities confronted with the epidemic. We want all stakeholders to be actively involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS activities in the country. Over 800,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
“FG give states allocation every month, FG can’t give money to state on the issue of HIV/AID, it is not done anywhere in the world. If OSACA is expecting money from NACA, that is not possible. We have few states that are funding treatment of AIDS, the Federal Government is funding the treatment but with the stands of things now, the funding is not forthcoming from World banks and NACA has written a proposal to the World Bank, we are still waiting for a reply. This is the reason why we are urging the states to do the needful by funding the treatment, else our people will suffer. If 1000 people lack treatment in a state and the FG is not forthcoming on funding, all we are saying is that the state should do this for its people.”
Similarly, NACA lamented that lockdown introduced by countries around the world to curb the spread of COVID-19 has drastically affected the numbers of condoms in circulation.
In response to the discussion, the Project manager of Osun State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, (O-SACA), Dr Akin Oyebade, lamented that the Federal is underfunding the agency and also the partners like World Bank have back off which is mitigate against the progress of the agency saying, “Osun State is trying all it could to support the agency in terms of providing drugs and fight against HIV/AIDS. The state recently approved a certain amount of money on treatment.”