HIV Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit
Sustainable Financing for HIV Govt’s Priority – Pate

Sustainable financing for health and Human Immunodeficiency Virus remains at the forefront of the government’s plan, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate said on Wednesday.

Pate also noted that the continuous improvement of the HIV response in the entire health and non-health systems is crucial for its performance and sustainability.

He said this at the third biannual programme performance and stakeholders engagement meeting organised by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Nigeria in Abuja.

According to the Minister, the ministry and her partners have prioritised interventions that underscore commitment to sustainable health financing, such as the Basic Healthcare Provision Funds, Enactment of the National Health Insurance Act and rebranding National Health Insurance Scheme to National Health Insurance Authority.

He commended the support of US CDC and the US government in combatting HIV.

He, however, said there is a need to strengthen the commitment to closing identified gaps especially in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV and ART coverage among the paediatric populations.

“The National HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and STIs Control Programme is also better aligned and structured to meet up with the new horizons. The leadership of the Ministry has empowered NASCP to effectively lead the HIV response working closely with CDC and other partners.

“The CDC grant support titled ‘Nigeria HIV Sustainability and Impact Project which aims to strengthen programme management and service delivery using the State Sustainability Ownership Model, the integration of HIV services into National and State Health Insurance Schemes and the implementation of the National Clinical Mentorship Programme to enhance the quality of HIV care in the states and various health facilities are strategic initiatives currently being anchored by NASCP.

“Today, I am delighted to present the four-point agenda of the Federal Government on Health, a roadmap that will guide our future endeavours. This 4-point agenda originates from the renewed hope promise by the government of His Excellency, President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and it aligns with the overarching goal of improving healthcare outcomes for all Nigerians.

“The government’s agenda will ensure substantial investments in healthcare infrastructure, equipment, human resources, and clinical governance. These efforts will be instrumental in strengthening Nigeria’s health sector and steering us towards a brighter, healthier future.”

The Minister stated that the collaborative efforts of PEPFAR, Global Fund, the United Nations, and other stakeholders have been instrumental in ensuring access to HIV, TB, and Malaria services to the most vulnerable populations.

He said the partnership remains a testament to the power of unity in achieving progress and tangible results.

In her welcome remarks, the CDC Nigeria Deputy Country Director, Suzanne Theroux, urged stakeholders to work towards meeting the 95:95:95 goal.

“Today we will focus on health and how to fully integrate HIV services across the broader spectrum of health delivery services to meet the 95:95:95 goal by 2025, which is soon.

“To successfully accomplish this, we must ensure that our programme resources are closely aligned with national, state and community priority platforms in systems as we work towards ending HIV as a public health emergency.

“An essential component will be how we design and implement quality health services to improve overall health outcomes for all Nigerians. We must ensure that we use science driven by accurate and reliable data sources to inform all our policies and practices,” she said.

In his address, the U.S Chargé d’Affaires, David Greene said the launch of new HIV surges, the increased number of people in target populations tested and linked to treatment, intensified efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission, and the growth of the National Data Repository have all been game changers in HIV response work.

“Nigeria is a model to the rest of the world on how to not only reach HIV epidemic control but how to invest in people and communities and truly make a difference in the lives of millions of people. The operation of key population-led One Stop Shops that provide a safe space for comprehensive care has empowered communities and saved lives.

“The innovation hubs for adolescent and youth populations are building a generation of strong and talented leaders. In April, I visited the hub in Lagos and was impressed by the spirit and skill of the students and staff there. In the last year, the evolution and expansion of offerings at the hubs to include new training in areas like virtual reality that will prepare youth to meet the demands of the ever-changing digital world is one of the many reasons I and the U.S. Government are proud to continue to partner with you all.

“I look forward to one day visiting the soon-to-open hub here in FCT,” he stated.