A pre-conference discussion on the Global Fund’s seventh replenishment, titled “Nigeria’s call to fight what counts,” was held in Abuja on Thursday, and stakeholders in the country made this information public.
They argue that the money is essential for attaining Sustainable Development Goal 3, which aims to put an end to the AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria epidemics by the year 2030.
The PUNCH writes that on September 19, 2022, the United States will host the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference in New York City. The conference’s goal is to raise $18 billion to prevent the loss of 20 million lives around the world due to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
The Minister of Health of Nigeria, Dr Osagie Ehanire, stated during the meeting that Nigeria agrees with the Global Fund’s goal of raising at least $18 billion for the 2023-2025 funding cycle to save 20 million lives and reduce the mortality rates of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria by 65%.
Minister of State for Health Joseph Ekumankama spoke on behalf of Dr Ehanire, who said the fund will assist the world get back on track to eradicate HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, particularly in the most impacted nations.
“Nigeria is still planning to pay into the Fund as it has in the past. According to the business case, there is a shortfall of 20%, or $28.4 billion. The Nigerian government understands that if health spending in the country isn’t increased steadily, the country won’t be able to reach its 2030 health goals or realise the investment case’s potential returns.
As @CCM_Nigeria hosts its pre-conference meeting for @GlobalFund 7th Replenishment, we count on Govt of Nigeria @MBuhari @ProfOsinbajo @DrEOEhanire to contribute to #MeetTheTarget of $18bn & #FightForWhatCounts @GFAN_Africa pic.twitter.com/7qXqHveq8r
— JAAIDSNG (@JAAIDSNGR) September 8, 2022
According to him, President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has signed into law the National Health Insurance Authority Act, which includes several novel approaches to increasing health care funding.
As stated in the act, “This Act establishes the legislative basis for sustainably providing universal health coverage utilising domestic resources. It will help the most helpless among us so that nobody is left out. As a government, we will meet our responsibilities to the people by progressively investing in their safety, health, and prosperity.
“I want to take this occasion to ask all donor countries to pledge more money to the Global Fund at the upcoming Seventh Replenishment Conference. Extremely significant consequences are at risk. An ambitious $18 billion is needed to make an impact in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
In addition, Dr Gambo Aliyu, the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, stated that Nigeria has received approximately $3.8 billion in investments from the Global Fund.
He declared, “For this replenishment, in addition to what we’ve done in the past three years, we want to boost the aim. The current worldwide goal of $14 billion is expected to be raised to $18 billion.
About $12 million came from Nigeria during the last replenishment, and the country wants to “see where we can go,” either by matching or exceeding that amount.
We have worked hard over the past three years, and we intend to see that our progress does not halt here. We reaffirm government dedication, demonstrating efficiency with public funds.
The U.S. Embassy’s Charge d’Affairs, David Greene, claimed that despite the country’s security concerns, COVID-19 outbreak, and economic downturn, Nigeria will be able to achieve its goal of an AIDS-free generation thanks to the availability of HIV treatment services.
Greene added, “Our important collaborations with national and state governments, the Global Fund, and UNAIDS were instrumental in defining what systems and strategies were needed to gain traction and outpace HIV. The HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey data from Nigeria is also used as a foundation for our initiatives, allowing us to make informed decisions about programme rollout and zero in on locations with the greatest unmet need.
“Another important aspect of this story is the national alignment that was developed in 2019 by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Global Fund, and the Government of Nigeria to better utilise our comparative strengths and resources to provide HIV services to communities in Nigeria that are centred on the needs of individual patients.
We launched a surge effort to increase case-finding and swiftly extend access to antiretroviral therapy by consolidating technical and financial resources behind a single national initiative. Although the COVID-19 epidemic was at its peak during the surge, the number of HIV-positive people diagnosed and started on treatment increased by 100%. No other nation or HIV programme can make such a bold statement.
Over 1.8 million people living with HIV in Nigeria are thriving and contributing to society today thanks to the availability of effective therapy. A growing number of nations are studying and even copying our national alignment concept.
However, continuing this progress will necessitate both continued funding for the Global Fund and continued efforts by all of us to come up and fight for what matters. It’s almost finished, but we still have a ways to go; Nigeria is still responsible for one out of every seven HIV-positive births worldwide.
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