We will raise $662m in 5 years for HIV/AIDS financing — Group
NNN: Health Policy Plus, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), says it will raise 662 million dollars in five years for financing in the country.
The Country Director of the group, Dr Frances Ilika, made this known at the group’s End of Project Learning Exchange Event held in Abuja on Friday.
Ilika, who explained Nigeria’s overdependence on foreign donors, especially in tackling key diseases like and malaria, said “within the next five years, we will raise 662 million dollars for financing, so we don’t have to depend on donors anymore.
“That is why Health Policy Plus supports the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) to develop a five-year Domestic Resource Mobilisation Sustainability Plan.
“If this plan is fully implemented across all the states, we can begin to talk about owning our HIV control activities and other high burden diseases and begin to wean off dependence on donor funding which is not sustainable.”
The country director further said that Nigeria’s journey toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is possible, adding that “in advancing universal health coverage, we are working in five key states; Abia, Osun, Ebonyi, FCT and Lagos.
“We go about it through two mechanisms: the demand side, which is making sure that people do not have financial barrier to accessing healthcare, ensuring that even if you don’t have money, you can get healthcare when you need it.
“Health Policy Plus is supporting government mechanisms through the national and state health insurance schemes and healthcare agencies to advance policies that will make sure financial barriers to people accessing care are removed.”
Ilika explained that if the barriers were removed, there would be tremendous progress in the journey toward universal health coverage.
Dr Sunneeta Sharma, the Global Project Director of Health Policy Plus, said that the project is funded by USAID.
Sharma added that “Health Policy Plus is a global project operating in over 49 countries including Nigeria.
“It is a flagship U.S. project that has made a lot of impact in Nigeria, supporting government policies including policies aimed at improving primary healthcare, increasing access to healthcare through health insurance, as well as supporting the Basic Health Care Provision Fund.”
One of the event’s panelists, Dr Monsurat Adeleke, commended the efforts of the Lagos State Government in increasing budgetary allocation to HIV response.
Adeleke, also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lagos State Agency for the Control of AIDS (LSACA), said that even with the dwindling donor funding, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos had exhibited political will in the fight against .
She added that “even with COVID-19, the governor made sure that allocation for HIV response increased.”
On stigmatisation, Adeleke said Lagos was one of those states that had the Anti-stigma Law being implemented.
“We have the Anti-stigma law since 2007 and so we have sanctions,” she said.
Another panelist, Dr Emmanuela Zamba, the General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency, said that the agency was integrating health services to provide for people living with the virus within its benefit package.
She said that benefit package was a set of services that could be feasibly financed and provided under the actual circumstances in which a given country found itself.
“We have made a lot of strides in that regard. We have developed a five-year roadmap which we have started implementing.
“We went ahead to have an actual analysis for the benefit package, which allowed us to know what we can put into the package in a graduated manner so that at the end of a period of five years, we would have integrated all the care survivors need.”(
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