- Aisha Buhari has called for efforts towards ensuring that people living with HIV are not faced with challenges in receiving healthcare services
- She also called for the removal of user fees by health centres before health services can be accessed by PLWHA
- According to the First Lady, funds can be mobilised from government agencies like CBN, NNPC and other agencies
Nigeria's First Lady Aisha Buhari has called on the minister of health, Isaac Adewole, to work towards the mobilisation of funds from various government agencies for tackling challenges faced by People Living With HIV/AIDS.
Aisha while speaking at the launch of the "Nigeria Free To Shine Campaign" on the elimination of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria in Abuja on Friday, December 7, said Nigeria does not need funding from foreign countries and agencies before dealing with issues of HIV in the country.
Reacting to the ordeal faced by women living as narrated by one of the members of the Association of Peoples Living With HIV/AIDS, Aisha said while it is important to note that many people living with the disease in Nigeria are unaware of their status, efforts must be made to ensure the provision of the essential needs of the individuals.
She said that as a UNAIDS ambassador her vision is to end mother-to-child-transmission and eliminate HIV/AIDS from the country.
The First Lady said: "This vision will focus on ensuring that the number of HIV pregnant women in Nigeria are identified as well prevent the transmission of HIV to their babies."
She said a situation where women living with HIV are made to pay user fees before accessing services in health care centres as narrated by the women must end.
"I therefore invite stakeholders in the HIV response in Nigeria to pay particular attention that are key to the reduction of HIV among mothers and their children," Aisha said.
"I will also like to call the attention of the honourable minister of health based on the lady that has just spoken on the challenges faced by women living with HIV/AIDS. I feel that she doesn't need to be on the national television before her health challenges can be handled.
"Based on the number of agencies that we have in Nigeria that are working on HIV/AIDS and other maternal and child health issues, I feel that a platform can be created to mobilse funds from government agencies like the CBN, NNPC, NIMASA and so on.
"We don't need to get other foreign agencies to keep doing all these for us in Nigeria. I believe that if the funds can be utilised judiciously we would all be comfortable living in Nigeria," Aisha concluded.
Also speaking at the event, the director general of National Agency for Control of Aids (NACA), Sani Aliyu, said the Free to Shine Campaign is a reinforcement of the political commitment to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
He said Nigeria's HIV indices have continued to improve over the last five years although there is still more to be done.
"The goal to end the mother-to-child transmission is attainable. Thailand Belarus and Armenia have achieved it," Aliyu said.
He added that in Africa, mother-to-infant transmission rates are now below 5% in several countries including Ethiopia, South Africa and Tanzania.
"I strongly believe that our mutual goal of keeping all mothers healthy and offering children a free HIV start is achievable with the collective efforts of stakeholders across all sectors," Aliyu added.
He noted that NACA is confident that the campaign will unite people and organisations from communities to local government areas, states and national and collective efforts towards ending the epidemic.
He also called on all stakeholders to align their support to end childhood HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Aisha had on Thursday, December 6, said the society should not criminalise those addicted to hard drugs.
She made the remark at the official flag-off of Youth Against Drug Abuse (YADA) campaign in Kano state, organized by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in collaboration with Young Pharmacists Group (YPG) at the Government House Kano.
Legit.ng gathers that according to her, rather than isolating and discriminating, the society should look beyond the problem and begin to look at the main cause of the problem and address it for a lasting solution.
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