It is no longer news that international funding and support to fight HIV-AIDS, TB and Malaria in Nigeria is dwindling. Recently, in-country advocacy, mainly to government agencies is understandably intensified in order to stimulate internal mechanism to provide the necessary support to those infected with the virus. In Nigeria, about 3.4million people are infected with HIV and less than a quarter of that could access treatment (even with external donor support).
In a press conference, participants including members of Civil Society Organizations, Donor Agencies, Government Agencies and the Media acknowledged the gains recorded over the years, which were driven mainly by external support from PEPFAR, Global Funds, DFID and UNAIDS and also cautioned on the need to explore internal mechanism to ensure a sustainable treatment programmes for Nigerians.
The National Coordinator for network of People Living with HIV-AIDS in Nigeria, Victor Omosehin highlighted various challenges faced by those in need of drugs (including user fees), in health facilities and noted the dangers that might evolve as a result of these constraints.
Participants agreed that unless internal support is harnessed, especially in local production of antiretroviral drugs and other health insurance benefits including ART for those on treatment, the psychosocial burden on People Living with HIV-AIDS will create another treatment gap in patients’ care.