Dr Gambo Aliyu, the Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), has urged states to begin to be independent in the sponsorship of HIV response for effective results.
He made the call at the NACA/State Agencies for the Control of AIDS (SACA) National Alignment Programme and Sustainability meeting on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said: “The new government provides us the opportunity to re-engage our political leaders and mobilise adequate domestic funds for HIV response at the state level.
“This, we must do, as the goal of ending HIV and AIDS related deaths by 2030 would remain a dream, unless states take greater ownership of their responses.’’
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He explained that the current phenomenon of donor fatigue and global practices of domestic sustainability made NACA to facilitate development of SACA capacities to lead respective state responses in effective and efficient manner.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbates the challenges of SACA, necessitating the need for states to be prepared for pandemic responses.
He, however, congratulated SACAs on their efforts in providing leadership and coordination of responses in the midst of challenges.
Aliyu said “however, 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 require us to do more, 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.”
Dr Alabi Babajide, the Project Manager and Executive Secretary of Kwara State AIDS Control Agency (KWASACA), stressed the need for coordination between NACA and the sub-national agencies.
He explained that such partnership is paramount in achieving a HIV-free Nigeria by the year 2030. (NAN)