As part of their effort to help those living with HIV in Nigeria, the Association of Civil Societies of AIDS in Nigeria (ACSAN) have said the Federal and State govts should take the responsibility of treating people with the disease.
This call was made Yesterday during a press briefing by the organizations. Speaking for ACSAN, the executive secretary, Mr. Nwakamma Ikenna stated that most of the issues bothering both organizations were the issue of funding and accountability. He said “HIV is a national security but no one seems to be talking about it. The states should take responsibility for treating the patients in their states and stop depending on donors”.
“Narratives should change and people should not depend on donors”, he added.
Ikenna also stated that when funds are given for treatments, they should be accounted for. “We want to engage all stakeholders to be able to stand up for their responsibilities”.
The executive secretary ACSAN, also added that the Federal and State governments should increase the awareness programs and also identify core epidemic areas.
He added “Any external data collated by any organization outside Nigeria, will be rejected. Nigerian CSOs, researchers, Universities, Health practitioners will be involved in any data that we will work with”.
“The government should come to the reality that donors are leaving. Therefore they should set a target of when they would take the full responsibility of the citizens, especially those living with the disease”.
Maureen Onyekwazi, a vice chairman of ACSAN’s governing council said “Nigeria has the sole responsibility of taking care of its citizens. HIV in Nigeria is not supposed to be a donor-funding thing. Our government should start taking the health of its citizens very seriously.”
“Stakeholders should stop making commitment but they should come out and fulfill them”, she added.