HIV/AIDS: Our lack of data preventing us from getting grants to fight epidemic – Buhari
Nigeria is not able to access grants meant for fighting HIV/AIDS epidemic because it lack relevant data to support its claims.
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday while launching the National HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) in Abuja said as it stands today, Nigeria is not able to compete for HIV global grants because it lacks requisite data which is a major requirement in accessing the grants.
“Despite spending these resources, coverage and access to persons living with HIV remains a challenge, leading to wastage of HIV commodities.
“The importance of accurate data on HIV is very crucial for sustainable solutions on HIV/AIDS. The lack of data on HIV epidemic has also compounded the country’s ability to compete for HIV global grants,” the president said.
On his part while bemoaning the ravaging extent of the epidemic, the Director General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Sani Aliyu said almost two-thirds of all new HIV infections in West and Central Africa occurred in Nigeria in 2016.
According to him, the number of persons on life saving medications has increased from about 100,000 to just over a million and the number of hospitals providing HIV/AIDS treatment sites have increased more than 10-fold.
“As more resources are put into the programme, the cost of finding a person living with HIV has also increased. Perhaps, this is the more reason why we need to have more precise estimates not only to determine the epidemic burden but measure the impact of our current interventions in order to plan more effectively, especially in this era of huge budget cuts and uncertain donor resources,” he emphasized.