Heartland Alliance International (HAI) has called for joint partnership with the United Nations (UN) programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), National Agency on Control AIDS (NACA) and Ministry of Health to curtail the spread of Aids.
Concise News understands that HAI is the global arm of Heartland Alliance, a family of organisations leading anti-poverty and social justice work in Chicago since 1888.
The organisation’s Country Director, Batholomew Ochonye, made this call on Thursday in Abuja, while expressing that such collaboration was imperative to ensure that no one was left behind in HIV response.
According to Ochonye, there can be no meaningful progress if anyone was left out of the provision of prevention and treatment services on HIV/AIDS.
“HIV has the potential to spread fast if untreated and so, we work closely with the Ministry of Health, NACA and other stakeholders with support from USAID,” Ochonye said.
Ochonye restated calls for life-saving HIV prevention and care for people who use drugs as well as men who have sex with men to enable them to achieve viral suppression.
He said the imperatives of taking care of prison inmates by providing quality HIV prevention commodities for those living with HIV/AIDS.
Ochonye, however, called for support and encouragement for NGOs as well as donors and development partners for improved medication to ensure an end to the HIV epidemic by 2030.
The Federal Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Concise News gathered that this is to help enhance how to decisively win the war against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
The agreement was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja.
The team had earlier met with President Muhammadu Buhari to launch the new result of the survey undertaken by the group.
”On behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, we’d like to express our profound gratitude to you and your organization for the great cooperation extended to us to tackle this major health challenge,” Onyeama said.
On his part, the team head, Sidibe, praised the effort of the president and the country in its fight against HIV/AIDS.
He said the survey conducted by the organization shows that Nigeria has fewer people living with the disease.
“This is a transformative moment for the country because the survey is the largest survey we have managed to have in the history of the response to HIV,” he said.
”This survey is good news because it is showing clearly that we have fewer people infected with HIV, fewer cases of new infection and less death due to HIV. We want to use this momentum to reinforce, strengthen and enhance our relationship with Nigeria.
“We know with our new data, we can be more focused, we can really go to where the epidemic is and be more efficient in terms of utilization of resources and have a better return on what will be invested in this fight.”
According to him, the Memorandum of Understanding signed is a cooperation agreement to have a direct relationship with UNAIDS.