The goal of ending HIV and AIDS-related deaths by 2030 would remain a dream, except states in Nigeria take greater ownership of interventions created to control and halt the spread of the virus.
The Director General, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Dr. Gambo Aliyu who made the assertion at a National HIV Alignment Programme and Sustainability meeting with state Agencies for the Control of AIDS (SACA) in Abuja, tasked them to mobilise sponsorship domestically to fund HIV responses in their states.
The DG warned that the current donor fatigue experienced in the HIV/AIDS implementation makes it imperative for NACA to boost the capacities of the state agencies to lead in their respective states.
He recalled that the COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the challenges of implementation, raising the need for states to prepare better for pandemic responses.
The DG said, ”The HIV and AIDS response delivery architecture, especially at the state levels for now, is heavily reliant on non-state actors/Implementing Partners with limited ownership by state government actors.
Charging the state coordinators to leverage the new administration to source domestic funds, Dr Aliyu said, ”The new government provides the opportunity to re-engage political leaders and mobilise adequate domestic funds for HIV response at the state level.
”We can all agree that achieving the 2030 targets requires us to do more and plan better HIV responses by taking deliberate steps to ensure effective coordination.
Giving insight into the SACA, NACA meeting, Dr Aliyu said the National Alignment Program was hinged on a model designed to improve the Global Fund-PEPFAR and Government of Nigeria collaboration and to ensure alignment of efforts in HIV service coverage.
“For inclusivity, this national engagement is critical to help SACAs understand their roles in coordinating all relevant stakeholders and to work collectively to deliver on the Alignment program, and the New HIV Business Model”.
”A lot is being expected from you and this engagement signals our renewed journey to strengthen coordination and leadership at the state level. We can all agree that achieving the 2030 targets requires us to do more and plan better HIV response by taking deliberate steps to ensure effective coordination, ensuring no one is left behind. We are also to provide leadership that responds to the National HIV Sustainability Agenda that addresses all forms of inequalities to ending AIDS by 2030.”