The Federal Ministry of Health has said that donors contributed 95 per cent of HIV funding in Nigeria.
Dr Olugbenga Ijaodola, Assistant Director, Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Head, National AIDS and STI Programme of the Ministry (NASCP), disclosed this at a media dialogue on PMTCT in Calabar.
The dialogue is organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Child Rights Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information (CRIB).
Ijaodola specifically noted that the U.S. Government was responsible for 75.5 per cent of treatment interventions, while Global Fund accounted for 17.4 per cent, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) 1.2 per cent and Nigerian Government 5.4 per cent.
”At the moment, 95 per cent of the national HIV response is supported by partners, this includes PMTCT and Paediatric treatment.
“This is a challenge because if donor funding dwindles or it is withdrawn, the burden will increase.”
He emphasised that donors had been playing leading roles or supporting the government in the area of HIV prevention and treatment for over 18 years.
He, however, explained that government must take ownership of the fight to avoid relapse when donor funds dwindle.
Ijaodola, who noted that about 40 per cent of people living with HIV/AIDS are currently on treatment, urged that states should scale up interventions in the area of funds to ensure adequate coverage.
He tasked the media to improve reportage on HIV issues and hold government at all levels accountable to ensure they live up to their responsibilities to fund prevention and treatment of the virus.
Mr Geoffrey Njoku, UNICEF Communication Specialist, said the media dialogue was aimed at reinvigorating media reportage on PMTCT as well as scale up duty bearers toward increased funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
Njoku further said it was geared toward updating media with latest information, data and thrust of PMTCT and as well as create visibility for HIV interventions.
He noted that the dialogue was to heighten media advocacy and support for government actions at addressing PMTCT.
Njoku identified Nigeria as having the highest burden of maternal and child mortality and HIV/AIDS among other countries of the world.
He emphasised that everything possible must be done to ensure that these high indicators are addressed promptly.
According to him, the high indicators will continue to grow if we do not get it right for our children, and may not be able to ensure better future for them.
Similarly, Mr Olumide Osanyinpeju, Deputy Director/Head, CRIB, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, decried the large number of Nigerian children, who were still at risk of contacting HIV, with a host of them living in communities under emergency and insurgencies.
He, however, said all hands must be on deck to ensure an HIV/AIDS free nation, especially for children.